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Full text of "The sacred offering.."

















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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 






THE 



SACRED OFFERING; 



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— - — Enough to know 
That at the lonely couch of grief or pain, 
My simple page one passing smile may gain, 
Or kindle in the breast devotion's glow. 



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BOSTON: 

PUBLISHED BY JOSEPH DO WE 



1838. 



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Entered according to 


an Act of Congress, in the year 1837, 


Bj 


JOSEPH DOWE, 


in the Clerk's Office 


of the District Court of Massachusetts. 



J -2*2/ 






PREFACE. 



Encouraged by the success of the 
former volume of The Sacred Of- 
fering, the Editor has ventured to 
present a second to the public, hop- 
ing, that it may in some degree pro- 
mote the moral and religious objects 
of the publication. 

This volume, like the former, con- 
sists of selections from a series of 
volumes published in England and 
edited by Mrs. Jevons, the daughter 






IV. PREFACE. 



of the late William Roscoe. It is 
believed that the pieces, which this 
little work offers to the public, are in 
keeping with its design — sweet and 
sad, but sweetness strengthened by 
faith, and sadness mitigated by hope, 
which is " not of this world.' ' — 
That it may receive the favor which 
w r as bestowed on its predecessor is 
the sincere desire of the Editor. 
Boston, Nov. 6, 1837. 






CONTENTS 





Pogs> 


My Birth Day, 


. 9 


Midnight Aspirations, .... 


11 


The Journey of Life, ..... 


. IS 


Immortality, ...... 


16 


Dives and Lazarus, ..... 


. 17 


The Christian's Hope, .... 


IS 


Somiet on the Death of a Relative, 


20 


To my Mother, 


21 


Hours of Prayer. — Prayer at Sunrise in the Desert, . 


22 


Prayer in the Forest, ..... 


26 


Written after many Sleepless Nights, 


30 


The Sea-shore, ...... 


31 


Disappointed Love, ..... 


. 33 


Sonnet on the Death of an only Child, 


36 


To Earth, 


. 37 


The Moon, 


39 


The Infant's Home, . 


. 41 


A Mother's Love, ..... 


45 


The Mother's Lament, ..... 


. 46 


l* 





vi. u u jn i jl, iy i o • 


Page. 


Ministering Spirits, ...... 


47 


Verses addressed to a Youngest Son, 


. 50 


Hours of Night, ....... 


52 


The Lord's Prayer. 


. 54 


Sonnet, ........ 


55 


The Pestilence, ...... 


55 


Lines, ....... 


60 


A Dying Mother to her Child, .... 


. 61 


The Adieu, 


04 


Retrospection, ...... 


. 66 


The Planter's Last Hoar, . . 


70 


On hearing the Midnight Peal on New Year's Eve, 


. 73 


The Student, ....... 


75 


Sonnet, to . on her Birthday, 


78 


Sonnet, with a Testament, ..... 


79 


Sonnet, ....... 


. 80 


Sonnet, John, chap. xi. ...... 


Si 


Sonnet, Matthew, chap. xi. .... 


. 82 


Sonnet, Matthew, chap, xxviii. .... 


83 


Sonnet, . . ... 


. 84 


Lines, written in a Lady's Album, ...» 


85 


The Farewell, 


86 


To a Deserted Home, ...... 


89 


Hymn, Micah, chap. vi. ..... 


91 


Youth, ........ 


92 


True Joy, . . . . . 


94 


The Evening Spirit, ...... 


96 


Sonnet, Matthew, chap. iv. . 


99 


Sonnet, Luke, chap. iv. ..... 


100 


Sonnet, John, chap. xix. ...... 


101 


She sorroweth not as one without hope, 


102 


Lines on the Death of two Children in an Infant School, 


105 


A Character, .... . . 


106 


Lines supposed to be written by a Husband who had lost his 




Wife, and addressed to his only Child, 


109 


Sonnet, on New- Year's day, . . . . 


112 



CONTENTS. 



Vll. 



Revelations xxii. 5, .... . 

Sonnet, 1 Kings, xix. 2, .... 

Change, ....... 

Elegy on the Death of a Mother, 

Ecclesiastes xi. 1, 

Hymn written during a Severe Trial, 

The Wandering Bark, .... 

The Fountain, ...... 

Survivorship, ... . . 

Silence, ....... 

Music, ....... 

A Mother's Grave, ...... 

The Wild-flower, 

The Past and the Future, ..... 

Trust in God. ...... 

We never said ''Farewell," .... 

After the Death of a Friend, and addressed to her Children 
Life's Changes, ...... 

On the Death of a Beloved Relative, 

The Sister's Farewell, ..... 

Maithew, vii. 1, 

Remembrance, ...... 

The Missionary's Wife, .... 

Sabbath Musings, ...... 

Sonnet, to a Child, ..... 

The Slave, 

A Funeral Hymn, ..... 

Garden Hymns for every Season. — The Spirit's Song, 
The Summer Bower, ..... 
An October Night, ..... 

The Christmas Rose, ..... 

The Wild-Flower, 

The Desert Flower, ..... 
Lines to a Young Female, .... 

The Missionary, ..... 

Tlie Mourner, ...... 



Pa$e. 
113 
118 
119 
122 
124 
127 
129 
131 
132 
137 
141 
145 
143 
148 
151 
154 
155 
153 
160 
161 
164 
166 
163 
173 
176 
177 
180 
181 
184 
186 
139 
190 
193 
194 
193 
201 



"Y111. CONTENTS 



Page. 

The Touch of Death, . . . . .203 

Hymn, 205 

Life's Conflict, 207 

Funeral Hymn, ....... 809 

On the Death of a Young Lady, . . . . 211 

Gethsemane, . . . . . . . . Sf3 

Evening, . . . . . . . . 2{4 

Hymn, 216 



THE SACRED OFFERING. 



MY BIRTH DAY. 



Another year has passed, with all its joys and 

woes, 
The hopes and fears it brought are fixed in 

calm repose, 
That others may arise, as transient still as those. 

Another year has passed, alas ! how has it sped ? 
Is there one sin, one fault of which it may be 

said, 
" Thy reign is o'er — henceforth thy power is 

dead?" 

Or am I even still the weak and abject slave 
Of vain and foolish thoughts, that have no 

power to save ? 
Sowing those seeds that blossom for the grave ? 



# 



10 THES ACRED 

How pass those winged moments that are gone ? 
Before the throne of the just judging One, 
What witness they, of all that I've thought and 
done ? 

Were they mine own ? that I might them 

misuse ? 
Quenching their light in darkness, and refuse 
Their proffered good ? As foes did I them 

choose ? 

Or have those watchful ministers of heaven 
Witnessed the sight that penitence has given, 
When with the soul some evil thought has 
striven ? 

Bear they the cheering witness that my heart 
Is slowly cleansing all her frailer part ; 
Seeking that aid that can true strength impart ? 

Whate'er their flight has seen, their record shall 

remain 
Till the last link of life be shivered from its 

chain : 
O may the coming year a better requiem 

claim ! 



OFFERING. 11 



MIDNIGHT ASPIRATIONS, 



It is the hour of prayer, 
When day in midnight joins another day, 
And musing thought recalls a long array 

Of moments dark and fair ; 
Now that the chime hath died, I only hear 
The sweet repinings of the unquiet wind, 
And clothed with deep and reverential fear, 

I bow before thy throne, 

Almighty ! who alone 
Canst the dark chains which hold the prisoned 
soul unbind. 

My heart is full — too full 
To bear its load in silence, — I must seek 
The strength which rives endurance to the 
weak, 
And animates the dull : 
And Thou who hold est whirlwinds in thine 
hand, 
Who speakest and the eager storm breaks 
free, 



12 THE SACRED 

Who dost the glorious fires of heaven command, 

Disdain'st not in thy pride 

Those feeble ones to guide 
Whose troubled spirits seek their aid and hope 
in thee. 

Thou read'st mine inmost breast, 
Have not strange yearnings through its silence 

thrilled ? 
And thronging visions which the midnight 
filled, 
My pillow robbed of rest ? 
The mystery of dreams to Thee is clear, 

Have not a thousand awful things and high, 
Been half unveiled — half whispered in mine 
ear, 
While I rejoiced in sleep, 
And only waked to weep 
That such majestic show should incomplete 
pass by. 

Thou dost our days o'ersee ; 
Did I not love, e'en when a child, to find 
A meaning in the music of the wind, 

A speech in every tree ; 
Have not the clouds which gamesome evening 
[!es 



OFFERING. 13 

Upon the calm of Heaven's ethereal field, 
By me been watched as warning shapes, as isles 
Whence angels might come forth 
To circle round the earth, 
And I have prayed that these my fearful 
youth might shield. 

And came not this from Thee, 
This prompting of another, brighter being, 
These fervent, restless glances, further seeing 

Than worldly eyes may see ? 
Was it delusion ? — didst thou not reveal 

In these some portion of thy awful will ? 
Are not these strong aspirings which I feel 
Thy gifts, Eternal Sire ? 
Hast Thou not sown desire, 
Which nought of finite earth might conquer 
or fulfil ? 

If thou hast fashioned mind 
DifTerino- from mind — as bodies each from 

each) 
That some should plead, should prophecy, 
should teach, 
Subdue, persuade, unbind, — 
If, from the altar of that living fire, 
2 



14 THES ACRED 

From which thy messengers abroad do bear 
The flame which doih the poet race inspire, 
Thou deignedst give command 
That one, its smallest brand, 
Should touch mine infant lips — Hear, Fa- 
ther ! hear my prayer ! 

Hear me ! not for fame 
My soul hath burst its silence, — not for crown 
Of consecrated leaves, a vain renown, — 

Such meed let bolder claim ; 
Yet, hear ! — if thou dost breathe upon the lyre, 
And wake its strings to voice — teach thou 
my song 
With pure and calm devotion to aspire 
To wise and worthy themes, 
If thou have sent me dreams, 
Mingle some strain of truth their rainbow 
maze among. 

And thou, who canst bestow 
Beyond man's hope — O let my lays awake 
Some gentle heart to love me for their sake, 

Ere to my rest I go ; 
And when that rest is won — if one may hoard 
That love through after days, if one may 
nurse 



OFFERING. 15 

The memory of my songs, Almighty Lord ! 
Thy name be praised — whose care 
Received my feeble prayer, 
And deigned to grant its suit — who rulest 
the universe ! 



THE JOURNEY OF LIFE 



Beneath the waning moon I walk at night, 
And muse on human life ; for all around 
Are dim, uncertain forms that cheat the sight, 

And pitfalls lurk in shade along the ground, 
And broken gleams of brightness, here and 

there, 
Glance through, and leave unwarmed, the 
deathlike air. 

The trampled earth returns a sound of fear — 
A hollow sound, as if I walked on tombs ; 

And lights that tell of cheerful homes, appear 
Far off, and die, like hope, amid the glooms. 



16 THE SACRED 

A mournful wind across the landscape flies, 
And the wide atmosphere is full of sighs. 

And I, with faltering footsteps, journey on, 
Watching the stars that roll the hours away, 

Till the faint ray that guides me now is gone, 
And, like another life, the glorious day 

Shall open o'er me from the empyreal height, 

With certainty, and joy, and boundless light. 



IMMORTALITY. 



Unhappy he who breathes this mortal breath, 
A stranger to the high and generous faith 

Which lifts the spirit o'er the bonds of death 
Ev'n with the Avords the blessed Savior saith. 

" I am the resurrection and the life ; 

" He who believes on me shall never die." 
! tidings rich with immortality, 

How do we greet ye 'mid this world's vain 
strife. 



OFFERING. 17 

It is not then a dream — the hope so bright, 
Which heathen nations have desired to see, 

It shines on us with full and heavenly light, 
Glorious and beautiful ! ! who would flee 

Its gentle guidance and its peaceful trust, 

For the dim visions of this world of dust ? 



DIVES AND LAZARUS. 



The rich man rolleth in his chariot high, 
Where the wan pauper, at his hovel door, 
Courts the noon's warmth — then to its depths 
obscure 
Turns, to rebuke his starving children's cry. 
Stately observance meets the proud one's eye, 
A gilded mansion — guests — a steaming 

hoard. 
Where every luxury of the earth is poured 
In lavish store — save one ; and he doth sigh, 
That pampered lord, and count his revel 
nought, 



£ SACRED 

Because it lacks that one. contrast strange ! 

food tor bitter and repining thought ! 
And these are brothers! Peace: — to night 

may change 
The uneven lot — Lazarus in heaven may 

dwell. 
And Dives gnaw his tongue in tlr agonies of 

hell ! 



THE CHRISTIAN'S HOPE. 



I stood beside a deathbed scene — a mother 

bent and wept, 
But deep within her breaking heart a deathless 

faith she kept : 
She gazed upon her little one, so beautiful and 

still. 
And humbly tried to yield him up unto her 

Maker's will : 
She bent and kissed his pallid brow, she joined 

her hands in prayer. 



OFFERING. 19 

And then I knew the Christian's hope had 
surely entered tiiere. 

I stood beside a bridal band — and all was gay 

and bright ; 
In opening youth and radiant bloom, that bride 

was a fair sight : 
She gave her hand, she gave her trust, she 

gave her sacred vow, 
But not a change of feeling crossed the calmness 

of her brow : 
Yet she had broke another's hope, and left the 

true and tried, 
And made herself a sacrifice to splendor and to 

pride. 

I saw a lone and wretched hut, and it looked 
cold and poor ; 

An aged and a helpless form sat shivering at 
the door ; 

Her fire was low, her comforts few — I looked 
with pity there, 

And thought to see a face cast down with sad- 
ness and despair. 

Her eye was bright — her smile was kind — 
and as she worked she sung, 



20 THE SACKED 

And cheered herself with hymns of praise as 
slow she crept along. 

And then I felt that life was not what it might 

seem to be ; 
That faith and patience are sweet fruits that 

spring from misery ; 
And that the Christian's glorious hope can 

brighten every scene, 
And in the dark and anguished hour shed 

gleams of joy between. 
The mother had a hope in death — the lonely 

one was blest ; 
But the bride in all her splendor had not found 

the Christian's rest. 



SONNET. 



ON THE DEATH OP A RELATIVE 



In thought I see thy grave — though far and 
lone 
It lies unmarked on a cold foreign shore — 



OFFERING. 21 

No friend the tide of sacred grief to pour — 
That spot the dearest to his heart to own. 
Yet wert thou well-beloved, and hearts there are 
Which love to think on thy departed worth, 
And weep to see so soon removed from earth 
Feelings so warm, and virtues all too rare : — 
Hearts which, when musing on thy early doom, 
And noble struggles with thine adverse years, 
Would not repress the offering of their tears 
For all the living joys that round them bloom ; 
Or check that tide of sympathy and woe, 
Though o'er thy tomb those tears may never 
flow. 



TO MY MOTHER. 



Shade of my sainted mother ! if thy gaze 
Is turned, as it was wont, on one who loved 
To meet that tender glance — on one who 
proved 

Thy gentle care in past and happy days — 



22 THE SACRED 

Whilst yet this mortal veil the bliss delays, 
To feel thy fond embrace, where, far removed, 
Thou dwell'st in light supreme — revered, be- 
loved, 
Look on thy suffering child ! let some rays 
Of thy celestial virtue arm my soul 
To bear the sorrows of life's changeful doom ! 
In heavenly strength these bitter thoughts 

control, 
And guide, and guard me to the quiet tomb — 
To that blest home where earthly cares shall 

cease, 
And I shall greet thee in the realms of peace. 



HOURS OF PRAYER. 



PRAYER AT SUNRISE IN THE DESERT. 



'T is morning in the desert — the young light 
Serves dimly to distinguish sand and sky — 



OFFERING. 



23 



A sea in all but motion, its expanse 
Meets the horizon — and the measureless waste, 
Far as the eye can follow, bears no tree, 
No patch of stream-fed verdure, not a hill 
To break the barren uniformity. 

it is awful ! there is majesty 
Even in its silence ! And 't is beautiful 
To see the spreading canopy of heaven 
Stooping on every side to blend with earth 

There is a lonely, distant caravan ; 
A little troop of eastern merchantmen, 
Sunburned and turbaned, wend their weary 

way, 
Companioned by their patient dromedaries, 
Across the burning desert. But, behold ! 
The east is bright with promise ! Crimson 

clouds, 
The joyous sun's glad heralds, roll away ; 
And he, the proud, the glorious, flashes forth, 
Making the very wilderness laugh out 
To greet his royal visiting. And they, 
Those toil worn travellers, cast themselves to 

earth ; 
And in that desert temple, roofed with heaven, 
Mighty in space, and grand in solitude, 
Pour forth the music of their morning hymn. 



21 THE SACRED 

To prayer — to prayer ! The rising sun re- 
joices earth and sky, 

Another blessed day is won, another night gone 
by; 

And in this lonely place of rest, which man 
hath rarely trod, 

We bend in reverence to Thee, the one eternal 
God! 

Thy guardian presence hath been near through- 
out our toilsome way, 

A shield of dauntless proof by night, a faithful 
guide by day ; 

Safe in the hollow of thy hand we felt nor fear 
nor ill, — 

Look down from heaven, thy dwelling-place, 
look down, and guard us still ! 

From perils which on every side beset the 

desert path, 
The sandy column's giant march, the hungry 

lion's wrath, 
The furious Arab's whirling charge, the fever's 

wasting grave,— 
Look down from heaven, thy dwelling-place, 

look down, great God, and save. 



OFFERING. 25 

From fervid noonday's blinding glare, the 

simoom's fiery breath, 
From phantom-springs which gleam afar to 

lure us on to death ; 
From raging fever-pangs of thirst, which nature 

may not brave, — 
Look down from heaven, thy dwelling-place, 

look down, great God, and save ! 
O Father ! lonely men are we, upon a distant 

shore ; 
An arid waste behind us lies, a weary land 

before ; 
Eat gentle prayers are following fast upon our 

devious track, — 
O give us to those loving hearts in peace and 

safety back ! 

No stately mosque above our heads its turret 

rears on high, 
Our altar is the desert sand, our minaret the 

sky ; 
But the universe Thy temple is, wherein let all 

adore 
Thy glorious name, who art, and wert, and 

shall be evermore. 
3 



26 THE SACRED 



PRAYER IN THE FOREST. 



Suggested by a Passage in the Life of Eliot. 



It was an autumn morning fair, 

Ere yet the sun was high, 
But the early mists were passed away, 

And placid was the sky ; 
When on the turf, beside the wood, 
Five hundred Indian warriors stood, 
And keenly turned the listening ear, 
The white man's coming step to hear. 

He came — but not with sword or plume, 
Bright helm or glance of pride, 

His robe was of the forest woof, 
A cap of wild-deer's hide 

Above his parted locks he wore, 

And in his hand a scroll he bore. 



OFFERING. 27 

V 

They, gathering, thronged — the wild, the free, 

Around that lonely man ; 
And many a piercing eye was bent 

His face and form to scan ; 
But on his mild and open brow, 
No trace of terror did he show, 
And backward, silent and amazed, 

They drew, yet still in wonder gazed. 

# 

The stranger kneeled — and toward his God 

He raised his forehead bare, 
And in his earnest native tongue 

He poured a rapid prayer : 
Perchance his prayer he could not frame, 
Those rugged Indian words to name ; 
The warriors silent stood, and near, 
That noble foreign speech to hear. 

Then to the listening chiefs he turned, 

And in their language spoke ; 
His kindling words with fervor burned, 

His voice like music broke 
Upon a stillness so profound, 
You started from the lightest sound. 

Good Lord ! 't were worth ten years of life 
That forest church to see ! 



2S THESACRED 

Its pillars of the living pine, 

Its dome, the arching tree ! 
While round and round, in circling band, 
The savage Indian hunters stand ; 
And in the centre — all alone — 
The fearless and devoted one ! 

He told of mercy — full and deep, 

And boundless as the sea ; 
And of a bright one who was slain 

To set his children free ; 
And of a glorious w r orld on high, 

For those who faithful be ! 
And ever as his theme grew higher, 
His pale cheek flushed with living fire ; 
His sweet low voice rang proudly out, 
And rose to an exulting shout ! 

Then with the pleading tones of love 

He sought their hearts to win ; 
He told them of his holy book, 

And all that lay within ; 
And when he marked their bosoms swell, 
He spoke his blessing — and farewell ! 

Full many an outstretched hand sprung forth 
Their passing friend to greet, 



OFFERING. 29 

For they wist not that upon this earth 

They ever more might meet ; 
And kindly wish, and kindlier word 
From many a swarthy lip was heard ; 
But there was one apart who crept, 
And turned his face away — and wept. 

Aye, wept ! The haughty Indian chief 

Even to the dust was bowed — 
The strong man's soul was touched with grief, 

And he must weep aloud ! 
But none may hear an Indian's moan — 
He rushed into the woods alone : 

Yet not unmarked — his gentle friend 

Upon his footsteps trod ; 
And, kneeling down beside him there, 

He prayed for him to God ! 
Then went rejoicing on his way, 
O'er all the blessings of that day ! 
3* 



30 THE SACRED 



WRITTEN AFTER MANY SLEEPLESS 
NIGHTS. 



I shall sleep, 
When the mandate comes from the land un- 
known, 
To say that the years of Time are gone ! 
Then shall my slumber be long and lone — 

Still and deep ! 

Now waken ! 
For the restlessness of earth is round thee, 
Weary spirit ! and earth will wound thee, 
Yet its sharpest thorns have never found thee 

Forsaken ! 

Thou mayest see, 
If thou look back on thy parted years, 
And their mingled tissue of smiles and tears, 
That He, whose hand upholds the spheres, 

Was with thee. 



OFFEEING. 31 

Day and night, 
Who hath sustained, protected, healed, — 
And " compassed thee round as with a shield? " 
In boundless love and power revealed, 

God of Light ! 

Peace and rest 
Hath He not promised to them that stay 
Their souls on Him, in this house of clay ? 
Albeit the rough and perilous way 

Seem unblest ! 

Wind nor wave, 
Storm nor tempest, nor man's annoy, 
Nor aught that troubleth oar earthly joy, 
Shall evermore " hurt or destroy " 

In the grave ! 



THE SEA-SHORE, 



How sweet upon a sultry day 
Along the sea's cool shore to stray ! 



32 THE SACRED 

And watch the sun when riding high 
Upon the blue and cloudless sky ; 
And, walking on the quiet strand, 
To view the ships approach the land ! 
See how the sailors brisk and brave 
Sail joyfully upon the wave, 
And how delighted they appear, 
As their own land approaches near ; 
And see the faces on the shore 
Looking the far off billows o'er 
For those they love — that little one 
To clasp its father's knee is gone ; 
That tall girl, who is running by, 
Has met a darling brother's eye ; 
And she who with that smiling face 
Is hastening on her weary pace, 
Has come from many a distant mile 
To greet again a husband's smile. 

How sweet the sisfht ! is it not sweet 

To see when friends and brothers meet ? 

Now climb the cliff — the beach is full — 

yes ! that sight is beautiful — 

Glad voices are upon the air, 

And man)' a happy face is there ; 

And there are welcomes on the tongue — 



O F F E K i N G . 33 

And there the aged heart feels young, 
To meet once more his own brave boy — 
Look — is it not a scene of joy ? 

Now let us go — the cool sea breeze 
Is rising swifter through the trees ; 
And freshens o'er the trembling sea 
So lately all tranquillity. 
Now let us go, for we have been 
Partakers in the pleasant scene ; 
The soft gale has revived our brow, 
Hot with the summer's noontide glow ; 
And so upon our weary heart 
Sweet thoughts and feelings to impart, 
Has, more than we can well express, 
The sight of human happiness. 



DISAPPOINTED LOVE, 



Thy path has long been in the shade, 
Thv voice is mute in sadness : 



34 THE SACRED 

Soon did thy early roses fade — 
A gloom came o'er thy gladness. 

Ne'er sprang there upon life's sweet day 

A happier heart than thine, 
Nor e'er rejoicing on their way 

More lovely hopes could shine. 

Thy brow was fair, thy eye was bright, 
Thy lip wore pleasure's smile, 

The light of rapture o'er thy sight 
Played softly for awhile. 

Thy flowing curls serenely lay 

Upon a tranquil breast, 
And thy voice of music was more gay 

Than aught that heaven's arch blest. 

And now — thy brow is bright no more, 

No joy is in thy song ; 
The sparkling of thine eye is o'er — 

! life hath done thee wrong. 

The faithless trust, the blighted heart, 
The crushed hope, thine were all, 

One hour saw future love depart, 
And thy fairy visions fall. 



O'FFEUl N G . 35 

Yet o'er thy path a light shall break, 

A radiance through thy sorrow ; 
Thou from thy trance of grief shalt wake, 

To hail a lovelier morrow. 

Yes, sweetest — yet again the beam 
Of youth's bright bliss shall shed 

A brilliance o'er thy sorrowing dream, 
A halo round thy head. 

Thine be the gentler, truer vow 

Of spirit like thine own ; 
The rose again shall deck thy brow, 

The loves resume their throne. 

Thy long dishevelled curls again 

Shall form a sunny braid, 
And, gentle heart, no longer then 

Thy path be in the shade. 



36 THESACRED 

SONNET. 

ON THE DEATH OF AN ONLY CHILD. 



It is not the will of our Father which is in heaven that one of 
these little ones should perish." 



The day is beautiful, and nature springs 
To life and light again. Where art thou gone, 
In thy young bloom, my own, my lovely one ? 
Nor sun, nor balmy air thy image brings 
To bless my longing eyes. The violet flings 
Its rath perfume around — sweet warblers own 
Their joy in varied song — yet sad, alone, 
Can I rejoice, when all surrounding things 
Tell of thy opening beauty, shrouded now 
In the cold precincts of the silent tomb ? 
I did not think to weep thy early doom, 
My best beloved ! yet would I meekly bow 
To His decree, who, in the words of love, 
" She will not perish," whispers from above. 



OFFERING. 37 



TO EARTH. 



I owe thee much, for thou hast borne me long, 
" With all my imperfections on my head," 

And, in my devious progress, right and wrong, 
In patient kindness, given me daily bread ; 

Albeit it has been steeped in burning tears 
Through my remembered years. 

I owe thee much, for, in my hours of grief, 
Thou hast spread out thy beauty ! The tall 
tree, 
In the green glory of its summer leaf — 

The gray and lofty rock — the mighty sea — 
Have come between my spirit and its woe, 
And softer tears would flow. 

Yes, ?mj own mountains ! I have felt your 
power 
In my heart's secret places, dark and lone, 
And soared above the agony of the hour ; 
4 



3S THE SACRED 

For ye have called me with o'ermastering 
tone : 
That, from the desert, and its stony track, 
Bore me to childhood back. 

And the old ocean — as his restless wave 
For ever breaks upon the shining sand, 

Hath told me that his distant waters lave 
Some lovely, wild, and solitary land; 

Where the worn sufferer, after hope is dead, 
May rest the weary head. 

I owe thee much for all thy sunny fields, 
Thy hawthorn hedge-rows, and the purple 
' bell 
Of the small flower the sheltering copse-wood 
shields, 
And the wild bee that lurks within its cell ; 
For thou hast kept them separate from the strife 
And weariness of life. 

Yea ! and thy silent haunts, and grassy nooks, 
Where even the timorous hare is rarely 
started ; 

And the low murmur of thy crystal brooks 
Are blessings, precious to the broken-hear 



OFF E RI N G . 39 

And whilst thou keepest these apart, and pure, 
Then man can still endure. 

And he shall die thy debtor ! Thou preparest 
His ark of refuge, on thine own still breast ; 

And though he leave behind his best and fairest, 
Not even their voices shall disturb his rest. 

Nor all thy sons rejoice in, or deplore, 
Awake him evermore. 



THE MOON. 



If I could dwell with thee, fair moon ; if I could 

dwell with thee, 
And look from out thy silver halls, far over 

land and sea ; 
If I could glide through fields of air, with such 

a step as thine, 
What, if I kept a human heart, what wish 

would then be mine ? 
To be — what thou art — to be guide and 

leadinrr star to Him, 



40 THES ACRED 

Whose glory gilds that higher world, where 

even thine grows dim ; 
Thus, on the desolate to pour a flood of radiance 

bright, 
Then gladly sink, disused, forgot, before that 

better light. 

To be, fair moon, what thou hast been, as I 

remember well, 
A glorious and enlivening sight, a never-failing 

spell ; 
Before whose influence, calm and mild, I saw 

the pure soul rise, 
And floods of deeper tenderness gush from the 

melting eyes — 

To fall, as now thy white beams fall, upon her 

lowly bed, 
To tell us, with a quivering smile, our loved 

one is not dead ; 
Perhaps in every darkened hour her minister 

to be, 
Speaking, with thousand things beside, her 

viewless agency. 
Has she not bathed in deeper floods of love 

divine her soul ? 



OFFERING. 41 

And is not love the mighty power that bade 

thee onward roll ? 
O why then lift to heaven mine eye, why gaze 

on earth beneath, 
Nor deem that all things bright and fair may 

feel her quickening breath ? 

And there is deepest harmony in that reviving 

thought, 
Thou, meek and lowly as a child, still ready to 

be taught ; 
Thou 'rt heard in every passing breeze, art seen 

in all I see, 
And all the pure, the bright, the fair, are types 

and sisfiis of thee. 



THE INFANT'S HOME. 

OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF TWIN CHILDREN. 



Where are ye now, sweet pair ? 
Vacant is now your place of cradled rest; 
4^ 



42 THE SACRED 

Ye slumber not upon a mother's breast, 
Where is your home — ! where ? 

How beautiful ye were, 
With your meek, peaceful brows, and laughing 

eyes, 
All eloquent of life's first energies, 

And joy's bright fount, yet clear. 

How blithely ye awoke 
With each new day ; familiar forms were there 
To meet your eager glance — kind voices near 

In gentle accents spoke. 

Ye seemed then to be, 
As some pale flower, that to the morning's light 
Hears its frail stem, and spreads its petals bright, 

As if confidingly. 

And w T hen, at evening's close, 
Those little hands, relaxing from the grasp, 
That some dear object held, with loving clasp, 

Ye sunk into repose, 

Love made your slumber seem 
As the closed flowers, o'er which the silent star 



OFFERING. 43 

Keepeth its ceaseless vigil from afar, 
And sheds its unfelt beam. 

I looked upon you then 
With thoughts almost of sorrow in my gaze, 
As on a passing joy, which other days 

Would make not mine again. 

# 

I feared some change might sweep 
Through the untroubled breast, and leave its 

stain ; 
Some unsuspected ill, some bitter pain, 

Mar with sad dreams your sleep. 

I know that change has past 
O'er you, sweet, tender nurslings ! but I know 
Your spirits now will never taste of woe, — 

That change will be the last. 

Ye are before me now, 
As ye were wont to be — no beauty gone 
That in those eyes, even when tearful, shone, 

No charm from that pure brow. 

Too calm, too deeply still 
Is that unchanging picture ; yet a part 



44 THE. SACRED 

Of the sweet visions of .the past, my heart 
Can make its own at will. 

And thus ye are mine own, — 
Mine own, to dwell upon, with quiet love ; 
Thoughts the world cannot touch, nor time 
remove — 

From me ye are not gone. 

I ask not where are laid 
Those faded forms — whether below the sod 
Which busy feet have with indifference trod, 

Or 'neath some kindly shade. 

Where, on earth's tranquil breast, 
The peace of the Eternal One hath smiled. 
E'en as a mother o'er her cradled child, 

There is your place of rest. 

He, who mankind shall wake, 
Over his children's rest a watch doth keep, 
And, with a voice that breathes of love, the sleep 

Of innocence will break. 

Not in that simple tomb, 
But in " our Father's house," where love shall be 



F F E R I N G . 45 



Abiding, even in its own sanctuary, 
There is the infant's home. 



A MOTHER'S LOVE, 



'T is the purest feeling the earth can claim, 
For it breathes of the heaven from whence it 

came ; 
'T is stronger than death, for its holy light 
Can brighten the gloom of the mourner's night ; 
'T is a love round which flowerets of Eden 

twine, 
Mother ! dear mother, that love is thine. 

Sharing the joys of our early day, 
And turning the thorns from our youthful way. 
In pain as in health has thy love been shown ; 
By a mother alone may its strength be known — 
Boundless, it flows from its source divine. 
Mother ! dear mother, such love is thine. 

Yes — time can never the thought efface, 
Though faintly my pen may the picture trace; 



46 THE SACRED 

! that our future years may prove 
We were worthy the gift of a mother's love, 
The brightest flowers on earth we may twine, 
But we never ao-ain shall see love like thine. 



THE MOTHER'S LAMENT. 



Those once loved voices all are still, 

In happier years so cheerful ! 
At rest is now the ecstatic thrill ; 

The once fair form — how fearful ! 
All, all are laid within the grave ! 
Nor tears nor prayers e'en one could save ! 

" Is there no hope ? " the parent cries ; 

" From death no glad revival ? 
The cherished dust, in dust that lies, 

What world waits its arrival ? " 
— " That world, where Christ is gone before, 
Is theirs and thine, for evermore." 

O blissful scene ! where severed hearts 
Renew the ties most cherished; 



OFFERING. 47 

Where nought the mourned and mourner parts ; 

Where grief with life is perished. 
! nought do I desire so well, 
As here to die, and there to dwell ! 



MINISTERING SPIRITS. 



" Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth 
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep." — Milton 



Call back the visions of the past, 
Bid memory's sea give up its dead, 

And try if thou shalt find, at last, 

Some balm on thy worn bosom shed ; 

Alas ! alas ! such spirits come 

Enwrapped and veiled in hopeless gloom ; 

They are of perished things, of joys of earth ! 

That sickened, withered, died, and have no 
second birth. 



48 THE SACRED 

O, blest were they who could believe 

The mysteries of fairy lore ; 
"Who listened on the summer's eve, 

When the soft waves just swept the shore, 
And fancied, in each ripple small, 
They heard a fairy's footstep fall, 
And in the wind's breath, through the linden 

shoots, 
Caught the sweet breathing of unearthly harps 
and lutes. 

And they were blest in ancient days, 
Who dreamed of spirits on the wave, 

Who sweetly chanted syren lays 
In many a lonely coral cave ; 

Who peopled every forest bower, 

And every grot, nay, every flower, 

With sylphs and guardian genii, kindly given 

To watch the earth, whilst they immortal were 
as heaven. 

Have we no fond ima^ininsfs. 

To cheer our hearts in hours of grief ? 
Have we no quiet, secret springs, 

From whence we draw the pure relief ? 



F 



E R I N G . 49 



! who could look upon the rose, 
Or watch the daylight's glorious close, 
Nor feel a thrill of joy, of power intense, 
That says, we have with things unseen intelli- 
gence. 

'T is not the dream of joys gone by, 
That lights our pathway like a star ; 

Friends icere with us, but passed on high 
We feel our own beloved ones are. 

And, ministering spirits, these 

Are messengers of heavenly peace. 

it is sweet to dream their holy eyes 

Are watching us afar, from the eternal skies ! 

Sweet to the weary heart, to think 

M Perchance they yet may walk the earth ; " 
That when the trembling soul would shrink 

At death's dread summons to go forth, 
That these may whisper promises 
Of hope, of faith, of perfect bliss, 
And bid us fear death's " narrow sea " no more, 
Since there their drooping heads were well 
sustained before. 
5 



50 THE S A C R E D 

It may be fancy's power, yet some 

Have deemed that to their dying bed 
Their parted friends have smiling come, 

To chase away the clouds of dread. 
! mourn not thou art left below, 
Whilst friends to realms immortal go ! 
How canst thou tell but these prepared shall be, 
In life's dim closing- hour, to minister to thee ? 



VERSES ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG- 
EST SON. 



Bless thee, may heaven bless thee, my sweet 

boy, 
Sly fond heart whispers oft, when none can 

hear, 
Bless thy young face, thy speaking glance of 

joy, 
Thy glowing cheek, where childhood's transient 

tear 



F F E R I X G . '51 

Seldom hath dimmed the smile, to me so dear; 
Thy voice, whose bird-like music doth proclaim 
The untaught gladness springing in thy breast; 
Or now, in murmuring tones thy mother's name 
Breathes from thy parted lips, when, gently 

pressed 
With kiss of holiest love, she lays thee down 

to rest. 

And when by sleep's soft touch thy laughing 

eyes 
A.re lightly closed, lingering, I love to gaze 
Upon thy peaceful beauty, till arise 
Bright visions o'er my soul of future days, 
Of boyhood's fearless truth, and well-earned 

praise, — 
Of youth's first, pure, and ardent love of all 
The good and beautiful in nature found, — 
Of manhood, foremost at his country's call 
Her freedom to defend, and see unbound 
Chains, which too long have borne her children 

to the ground. 

Thus doth my hopeful fancy dare to trace 
The bright perspective of approaching years ; 



52 THES ACRED 

For how can I behold that tranquil face, 

And think care's withering touch, or sorrow's 

tears 
Must quench its light ! No, hence, foreboding 

fears ! 
I know that thou in life's distress must share, 
But at thy side, the cherished of thy love, 
A fond and faithful one I picture there, 
Whose gentle voice each sorrow shall remove, 
Or lead thy chastened heart to rest in God 

above ! 



HOURS OF NIGHT. 



Hours of night ! within your silence, 
Holiest thoughts and feelings dwell ; 

Deep, how deep, the heart's emotions, 
Language may not, cannot tell ! 

Memory then, with magic vision, 

Darts her glance o'er years gone by, 



OFFERING. 53 

And, the blotted page beholding, 
Frequent heaves the unbidden sigh. 

• 

Then, ! then, the dark remembrance 
Of a sin yet unsubdued, 

Comes upon the sorrowing spirit, 
Breaking down its fortitude ! 

And the thought of those beloved ones 
Who on earth still bless our sight, 

Seems to brighten in the darkness 
Of the still and solemn night. 

Then our spirit, all-confiding, 

Springs from earth to God on high, 

Then his heavenly peace descending, 
Comes to calm and sanctify. 

Hours of night ! O come and bring us 

Healing on your noisless wing, 
Tears of memory ! falling o'er us, 

Bid the flowers of hope to spring ! 
5* 



54 THE SACRED 



THE LORD'S PRAYER. 



Father — universal Lord ! 
Thou — in heaven and earth adored ! 
Hallowed be thine awful name, 
Endless thine unbounded fame ! 

Let thy promised kingdom come ; 
Wandering hearts and tribes call home ; 
Nor let man thy love confine ; 
Hearts and worlds unknown be thine ! 

May thy will be done on earth, 
As by all of heavenly birth : 
By their praise may we be fired, 
By their heavenly aims inspired ! 

Daily bread thy children need ; 
Lord ! each day thy children feed : 
Pardon too we seek above, 
As our pardoned foes we love. 



OFFERING. 

From temptation's dangerous hour 
Keep us by thy mighty power : 
Or, if tried our souls must be, 
From the evil set us free ! 

Thine the kingdom is, and was, 
Uncontrolled o'er nature's laws : 
Thine the power all w T orlds obey, — 
Thine the glory they display ! 



SONNET. 



Amidst thy living wonders as 1 stand, 

Where all is light and beauty, and the sun 
Above, a glorious world, his race doth run, 
And shed heaven's radiance at thy high com- 
mand, 
God! I pause, and fain would raise my eyes, 
Thou oh weak and dim, to that still brio;hter 

sphere, 
Where thou, divine Creator, wait appear, 



56 THE SACRED 

And give the virtuous mansions in thy skies. 

! blest are they — the pure, the wise, the 
good; 
Though sprung from dust, they yet shall scar 

above, 
Drink of the immortal fountains of thy love, 

And own thy mercy an eternal flood, 
Look down with joy on virtuous efforts past, 
And bless Thee as their great retcard at last. 



THE PESTILENCE, 



The pestilence is gone forth : 
It walketh in darkness, unknown its path, 
Silent its step, yet dominion it hath 

Far o'er the trembling earth. 

It withereth as a blight, 
It boweth the young in their noon of day, 
It mocketh at time and his tardy sway, 
It brin^eth a sudden nio-ht. 



OFFERING. 57 

It breathes on the morning air, 
It wastes when the mid-day sun mounts high, 
It comes with the dew and twilight sky, 

In the stilly night, 't is there. 

It breaks on the festal hour, 
Amidst maddening revelry, wild uproar, 
It stands ; like the angel on the shore,^ 

It speaks with a voice of power, 

Proclaiming, time is expired. 
To him, who presumes on to-morrow's sun, 
Its sentence is brief, thou deluded one, 

" This night is thy soul required." 

It lurks where a father stands, 
With the sparkling goblet with poison filled, 
From the staff of his children's life distilled, 

Held in his unnerved hands ; 

Where famine is hovering near, 
Where the mother bends o'er her early dead, 
Whose disease was hunger, whose cry for bread 

Is still lingering on her ear ; 

* Rev. x. 2 — 5. 



53 the sack ::d 

Where, with unnatural skill, 
The scanty morsel, which nature demands, 
The weak child guards, with its bony hands, 

From one weaker, fainter still. 

Not soon will its victims fail, 
While crime and famine stalk boldly forth, 
While abject sorrow and dreadful mirth 

Bid the distemper " All hail." 

Must these things be ever so ? 
Have not we a trust in the world to keep, 
A sacred charge o'er our Master's sheep, 

And lambs of his fold below ? 

Even yet his commands remain, 
That we give them not only perishing bread 
And the shallow stream, by which mortals fed 

Must hunger and thirst again ; 

But a good, which is not of earth ; 
That we speak glad tidings from door to door, 
And arouse a spirit among the poor, 

A sense of their being's worth. 



OFFERING. 59 

God called us by mercies long, 
By the rich abundance which crowned the 

plain, 
By the scattered fruits and the hoarded grain, 

Gathered 'midst gladness and song ; 

By our joyful hopes above, 
By the promised harvest, which there shall be, 
By our knowledge of men's high destiny, 

To this work of peace and love. 

How lono- were we slow to save ! 
And he calls us now by a voice, that comes 
With a stirring sound through our hearts and 
homes, 

And reverberates from the tombs. 



60 THE SACRED 



HYMN, 



When on the world's wide sea we roam, 
Unheeding, on destruction's brink; 

When tempest-tost, and far from home, 
Our little bark begins to sink ; 

O hear us, when to thee we run, 

Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son. 

When in our flesh the piercing thorn 
Shall ask for many a bitter tear ; 

Or when by savage tigers torn. 
We have no kind physician near ; 

O heal us, when to Thee we run, 

Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son. 

When at that great and final day, 
Sorrow comes o'er us as a flood; 

When hope, all pallid, shrinks away, 
And justice loudly calls for blood ; 

O save us, when to Thee we run, 

1 Jesus Christ, thine only Son. 



OFFERING. 61 

i 

A DYING MOTHER TO HER CHILD. 



My boy, my boy, and must we part, and must 

I go from thee, 
Thee, who hast had, perhaps, too much of my 

idolatry ? 
I am passing to the world unseen, am standing 

on its brink, 
I feel it is because of thee, that thus I faint and 

shrink ; 
My youth's bright dreams of bliss have been 

all realized in thee, 
Thy life hath been a second spring of hope and 

joy to me ; 
And now that age is on my brow, and death is 

at my heart, 
I would ask, if with my spirit's hopes too closely 

linked thou art ? 
I have watched thee at thy childish sports, more 

happy far than thou, 
I have marked thee thiough thy ripening years, 

yes, even until now : 
6 



62 THE SACRED 

I have longed to see the mark of soul impressed 
upon thy face, 

And yearned in thy lip and eye thy Father's 
smile to trace ; 

Thou hast been my happy dream by night, my 
pleasing care by day, 

The thought that round my heart like the sum- 
mer breeze did play ; 

I have gazed upon thy every path, till I loved 
the very sod, 

Which thy placid cheek at noon-tide pressed, 
thy foot at evening trod. 

It was not as the worldly love the objects of 

their pride, 
Not as the vassal loves the chief for whom he 

would have died, 
Not as the warrior, the prize he has purchased 

by his sword, 
Or the miser, the long treasured gold that swells 

his secret hoard, 
Not as the statesman loves the cause that wins 

his way to fame, 
Not as the poet loves the strain that has gained 

a deathless name, 
But with affection pure and true, as a feeling 

from above, 



OFFERING. 63 

With a fondness that has no compeer — aye 

with a mother's love. 
I sometimes feared this cherished joy, which 

seemed of heavenly birth, 
And had my heart's devotion, might be too 

much of earth ; 
But a strong and blessed confidence comes o'er 

me in this hour, 
A clearer light is with me now, a more dis- 
cerning power. 
God, who has taught us to address to him a 

child-like prayer, 
And likened his own perfect love unto a parent's 

care, 
Will not as weakness, or as guilt, his creature's 

love condemn, 
The faint resemblance of that care which he 

has shown for them. 
Yes, — if I have not sacrificed all other claims 

to thine, 
Surrendered with a selfish love, because that 

thou wert mine, 
1 still may hope to feel that bliss within my 

soul revive, 
Which never in this yearning heart will lan- 
guish while I live; 



64 T^ SACRED 

I may hear thy unforgotton voice join the arch- 
angel's song, 

And know my own beloved one amidst a holy 
throng. 

May see thee, by the light that breaks the 
shadows of the tomb, 

A portion of my happiness in the bright world 
to come. 



THE ADIEU. 



I leave thee, dear one, leave thee, and long the 

time must be, 
And spring must bloom, and summer shine, ere 

I return to thee ; 
And when the well-known door again is opened 

to my call, 
I perhaps may hear thy little feet resounding in 

the hall. 



OFFERING. 65 

And all thy infant helplessness will then have 

passed away ; 
Thou wilt not have remembered me for many 

a distant day ; 
And tones of mine, thou fondest one, will fall 

upon thine ear 
Even as a stranger's voice might come that 

never had been dear. 

My smile will be a stranger's smile, and yet 
this heart for thee 

Will utter many an absent prayer upon a bend- 
ed knee, 

And in sadness or in sorrow that face will oft 
arise, 

And, like a seraph's shine o'er me with those 
blue, peaceful eyes. 
6* 



66 THE SACRED 



RETROSPECTION. 



And this is Retrospection — not alone 

A glance cast back 'midst the world's toil 
and strife, 

A faded picture by a dim light shewn, 
A dull, faint outline of the past of life. 

It is the spirit's sojourn in the land, 

The sunset land of unforgotten things; 
'T is boyhood's feelings sketched by manhood's 
hand, 
With all the power and strength which man- 
hood brings. 

'T is youth's returning freshness, and the glow 
Of young affection lent to elder years; 

It gives the autumn of our lives to know 

All the spring yielded, save its hopes and 
fears. 



OFFERING. 67 

But is the past all pleasant ? Is there not 
Aught that we would not memory should 
retain? 

May she not make the changes in our lot 
Powerfully vivid to our eyes again ? 

Blessings we had, and have not — what a world 
Of woe that single sentence doth express ! 

Who, that had been from joy's high places 
hurled, 
Would tarn to look on his lost happiness ? 

The cherished long — the absent — and the 
dead, — 

Is it the thought of them we would forget? 
No rather let us give it power to shed 

A lingering brightness o'er our pathway yet. 

For those still with us joyous love we feel, 
A sympathy of smiles, and not of tears ; 

And, if for them some anxious thoughts will 
steal 
Upon us, love them better for such fears. 

And the departed — they are not like flowers 
WTiich we may trifle with, awhile may leave ; 



68 THE SACRED 

Familiar playmates of our sunlit hours, 

And kindred mourners in our clouded eve ; 

But like the beautiful, bright stars that dwell 
In distance, and in silence. And 't is given 

To these, their emblems, as they shine, to tell 
What lovely light earth borroweth from 
heaven. 

Why should we then their holy memories keep 
In sad, unbroken stillness ? Let us turn 

Unto the light they left to us, nor weep 
In bitterness and darkness o*er their urn. 

And of the absent let us think with smiles, 
(Partings that make our meetings call for 
these,) 

And where their voice our loneliness beguiles, 
Their images our loving fancy please. 

Then let our thoughts in cheerful patience rest, 
To mourn them more were but to love them 
less ; 
Precious they are, but ever honored best 

When we endow them with the power to 
bless. 



OFFERING. 69 

GjcI wills we should be happy, and we make 
Our friends the ministers of this his will, 

When from their love our happiness we take, 
Which even absence cannot turn to ill. 

Would that this truth, on every human mind, 
In words of light and beauty were impressed, 

That, with a being for pure bliss designed, 
Our happiest feelings ever are our best. 

That which was bright in its reality, 

That which was beautiful while yet possess- 
ed, 

Cannot lose all of its felicity, 

By being shrined within our faithful breast. 

It must be blissful while affection lives, 

To rouse its buried sweetness by her powers ,* 

And retrospection, whose enchantment gives 
u In dreams, the moonlight of its morning 
hours.'' 



70 THE ?ACEED 



THE PLANTER'S LAST HOUR. 



I saw a chamber in the abode of pride, 

With all of rest that could be bought with 
gold, 
There was a bed of down, high canopied, 
And curtained round with damask's crimson 
fold ; 
The windows were deep veiled, and yet a ray, 

A single ray of the sweet sun-light shone 
Through the dim room, which on that couch 
did play, 
And on the brow of him who lay thereon. 

But he was dying — there was a look 

On his shrunk face, which moved convul- 
sively, 

And all his features quivered as he shook, 
As though a vision met his glazing eve. 

The hireling nurse was there, and serving men 
Waited his bidding, vet he was alone — 



OFFERING. 71 

Alone — their hearts were not with him — and 

when 

He spoke, how deep and hollow was the tone, 

Which would so soon be silent — yet though 

then 

The gurgling sound of death was in his 

o o o 

throat, 
He lifted his faint voice yet once again. 

It needed not a bended ear to note 
His accents, 'midst that silence most profound; 

For each and every word the hush that broke 
Was horribly distinct, as if its sound 

Would fain be heard forever — thus he spoke : 

" I stood within a crowded mart — I bought 
That which was there exposed for sale, which 
gold, 
Of course, made justly mine — it mattered 
nought 
What were the creatures that were bought 
and sold ; 
They were but chattels. Did I treat them well 

Or ill, or what of food or rest I gave ! 
Is that all ye would ask, or I should tell ? 
Why was one tyrant, and the other slave? 



72 THE SACRED 

" Had I the right to vest me with a power 

Unlimited, to deal out misery ; 
To trust my own weak nature with a dower 

Of such momentous import ; or was I 
Free to impress my name upon each brow — 

To bend his will beneath my iron rod ? 
' That is the question,' and that question now 

Eternity must answer — O my God ! 

" He was to me but as my dog, my steed, 

Or as the tool with which I wrote his doom ; 
But now he turns and asks me of that deed ; 

He looks up to me from his early tomb, 
And with a face so human, and a voice, 
A brother's voice, even like his who played 
With me in childhood, where free birds rejoice, 
And tinkling rills flow by the chestnut shade. 

" And hark ! I hear his heart throb as my own, 

I see the life-blood flowing in his veins, 
Quickened by feelings I did long disown, 

Or kept in vile subjection to my chains ; 
E'en as my soul is his ; that truth I find, 

Now, that all truth lies naked to my view. 
I bought him — could I know the thing had 
mind, 

Immortal mind ! and did I buy that too ? " 



OFFERING. 73 

The palidness of death came o'er his clay ; 

He ceased, and pressed his eyelids close, as 
though 
That slave with his fixed gaze did still essay 

To look upon his heart, and its last throw ; 
His mouth grew rigid — the expression flung 

Arourid his unclosed lips told he had tried 
To answer to that quest — but that his tongue 

Stiffened, ere utterance came, — and thus he 
died. 

But still, that clear, bright ray of sunshine 
sought 

His dark brow, pillowed in deep silence then j 
What did it there, but to betray the thought 

Of him, the man who trafficked in men ? 



ON HEARING THE MIDNIGHT PEAL 
ON NEW YEAR'S EVE. 



How different are the years that meet, 
As yonder bell peals through the air 
7 



74 THE SACRED 

One with its records all complete, 

The other — ! what may it bear 
Upon the yet unsullied leaves, 
Ere it the final word receives. 

Ere closed and clasped from mortal care. 
This volume, like the last, shall be 

Looked back upon as things which were. 
Now past into — eternity. 

Not into empty space, but laid 

Where ne'er one line or word shall fade. 

Where, whatsoe'er those words may be, 

Or foolish, idle, or profane, 
We shall once more their image see, 

When we would blot them out in vain ; 
When, shrinking back in fear and shame, 
We hear what follies bear our name. 

let us try, as we impress 
EfFaceless lines on every page, 

At least, to make some few express 
Ideas worthy to engage 

Eternal records — some which may 

Speak comfort at our closing day ! 



OFFERING. 75 



THE STUDENT. 



" He knelt down by my bed, and prayed. My soul was thrilled 
by the sound of that voice, so familiar, and so loved, and a thousand 
tender recollections crowded upon my mind. I was refreshed and 
strengthened as I listened, and lifted nearer to heaven." — 

Jot ham Anderson. 



I rose in all the pride of youth, 

To hail the light that round me lay, 

Thirsting for knowledge and for truth, 
My soul sprang on her heavenly way ; 

In vain the mysteries of the past, 

Still sealed, before my eyes were cast. 

I proudly thought to lift that veil, 

Which holier hearts than mine had tried, 

Who with long years of study pale, 
Still found their loftier faith defied ; 

'T is mine ! I cried, that meed to gain — 

Alas ! that dream ! how fond and vain ! 



76 THE SACRED 

An eye above beheld my pride, 
As bending o'er the midnight oil, 

How earthly and unsanctified 

The motives that still urged my toil ; 

How, in that unseen mental strife, 

I wasted power, and health, and life. 

Yes ! mortal glory shone around, 
Its beams seemed kindling o'er my brow ; 
I thought my youth's long sufferings crowned, 

The hour of struggle over now ; 
But He above the incense spurned 
Which with an earthly splendor burned. 

"With holier aims and purer fires 
He bade my spirit seek his shrine, 

Resign to Him my heart's desires, 
And raise them to a crown divine ; 

And in humility and tears 

He bade me walk my future years. 

That chastening hand soon laid me low ; 

Imagination, wisdom, power, — 
What were they in my overthrow, — 

O ! could they soothe my dying hour ? 
A still small voice was whispering there, 
" Thv nride is fallen — thy hope is prayer." 



OFFERING. 77 

The weight of death lay on my heart, 
My trembling lips refused to pray, 

As, one by one, I saw depart 
The trusts of that aspiring day ; 

Confused and stricken, then I sought 

Some anchor for my parting thought. 

And I was not forsaken. He 

I served so faithlessly was near ; 
His pitying eye was over me, 

And marking every secret fear ; 
And in that hour of wild alarms 
He gave a parent to my arms. 

The aged knees for me were bent, 
I heard the voice so long beloved ; 

A calm into my soul was sent, 

And every sense was sweetly moved ; 

For tender memories thronged around 

Again at that familiar sound. 

I wept, and all my weakness owned, — 
Those sacred words unbound my grief ; 

The truth, the way, the life I found, 
As on His breast I sought relief, 

And owned, subdued, the light of heaven 

To humble hearts alone is given. 



78 THE SACRED 



SONNET. 



TO 



Now with a fonder love, and warmer prayer, 
Than erst in years gone by, again I raise 
A song of joy for thee ; and as in days 
Departed, we were ever wont to share 
Each smile and tear, and mingle every care, 
So hear once more, beloved, the hope that 

plays 
Unchanged around my heart, and sheds its 
rays 
Upon thy onward path — whether it wear 
The aspect of delight, or sorrow give 

The semblance of a woe : yet in thy breast, 

Guileless and pure, unnumbered joys shall live, 

Safe in His love who makes His children 

blest ; 

And still in heart, and mind, I 11 share with 

thee 
Those joys — the earnest of eternity. 



OFFERING. 79 



SONNET. 



WITH A TESTAMENT. 



My friend beloved ! if o'er thy trembling soul 
Almighty Wisdom pours His light of love, 
With untired zeal the holy gift improve, 

And every rising doubt and fear control. 

For it shall guide thee to the heavenly goal 
Of virtue, freedom, truth ; and thou shalt 

rove 
Through walks on high in which blest spirits 
move, 

Tuning their harps where living streamlets rolh 

Then bind this sacred offering on thy heart, 
And guard it as thy life ; and though my 
voice, 

Salute thine ear no more — and though we part, 
'Mid life's eventful scenes, we will rejoice, 

United still, to search the page divine, 

And win the wreaths angelic hands shall twine. 



80 THE 8ACEED 



SONNET. 



Again I see thee, in the house of prayer, 
Raise thy meek eyes above ; and purest praise 
Once more to heaven, in sweet and hallow- 
ed lays, 

Flows from my mournful lips. Yes — heavy 
care 

Has paled thy cheek since last I saw thee here, 
And cast thick shades of sorrow on thy brow. 
The God of peace be with thee ! and bestow 

A blessing on thy sorrowing. May the tear 

For him thou loved, be mingled with the joy 
That cannot perish — in thy fane, God ! 
Still let thy servant kiss the chastening rod, 

And holiest thoughts her aching heart employ ; 

Whilst hopes of heavenly birth shall gild the 
gloom, 

And chase the horrors of the silent tomb. 



OFFERING. 81 



SONNET. 



" I am the resurrection and the life — 
He who believes in me shall never die." 
These, Master, were thy words ; and still 
rely 
My hopes unmoved upon them, 'mid the strife 
Of earthly care ; — and then I follow thee 
To the cold grave where Lazarus is laid — 
I see thy tears, and Mary asks thine aid — 
The aid is present. " That thou heardst me, 
Father, I thank thee ; " and thou criest aloud 
To Lazarus, " Come forth ! " he lives, he 

breathes, 
The funeral garb is rent, the many wreaths 
Of death are torn away, and the pale shroud, 
Whilst wondering forms around the Savior 

move, 
And own the presence of Almighty Love. 



82 THE SACRED 

SONNET. 

MATTHEW, CHAP. XI. 



" Come unto me," the heavenly Teacher said, 
" All ye with labor and with toil opprest, 
And I will give your wearied spirits rest ; 
And bear my yoke, and in my footsteps tread, 
For I am meek and lowly, and will lead 

Your souls to peace ; for gentle is my yoke, 
My burthen light," — ! not in vain were 
spoke, 
Savior, thy words of mercy ; still decreed 
To cheer my drooping soul, upon its way 
Through earthly scenes of trial, care, and 

strife. 
Yes, I will come to thee : thy words of life 
Shall calm each anxious thought, and chase 

away 
The hopes, the fears, the vain desires that rise, 
To lure my spirit from its kindred skies. 



OFFERING. 83 

SONNET. 

MATTHEW, CHAP. XXVIII. 



At early morn before the Savior's tomb, 

The holy women wept — the conscious world 
Shook with an earthquake — and amid the 
gloom 

An angel form appeared, and instant hurled 
The mighty stone away — immortal bloom 

Was round about him, and as lightning shone 
His eyes and polished brow — the soldiers, 
come 

To guard the sacred sepulchre, fell down 
Like dead men to the earth, o'ercome with fear. 

Then spoke the angel messenger — "I know 
Ye seek the Christ — fear not, he is not here, 

For He is risen, as he promised — lo ! 
I Ve told you — and He goes to Galilee ; 
There once again the Savior ye shall see." 



84 THE SACRED 



SONNET, 



Yes, it was happiness ! though earthly joy 
Was distant far, and though sad thoughts 

arose 
For other's weal, to chase my heart's repose, 
Yet it was bliss, to know the dear employ 
Of leading souls to Thee, O God of Love ! 
On those who sat within the shade of death 
Pouring Thy living light — and, when the 
breath 
Of morning rose, with willing feet to move, 
And guide young hearts to kindle at the shrine 
Of nature's Lord — as in each happy hand 
I clasped a loved one, links of that dear band 
Whose early sweetness round my soul entwine, 
Leading their infant spirits on the way 
To virtue's heights, and heaven's eternal day. 



F 1- E R I N G . 85 



LINES 



I saw a vessel float along upon the summer- 
tide, 

And watched it o'er the rapid stream in tran- 
quil beauty glide ; 

No breeze of heaven disturbed the calm that 
rested on the sea, 

But skies above and earth around breathed 
peace and harmony. 

I watched that vessel till the wind aroused the 
sleeping waves, 

Yet still the angry billow's might the bark un- 
injured braves ; 

And now the storm has passed away, and gen- 
tler breezes rise, 

And once again it sails along beneath the clear 
blue skies. 
8 



86 THE SACRED 

Heaven speed thee safely, lovely bark ! upon 

thy destined way, 
Till thou shalt gain the joyful shore where no 

rude billows play ; 
Thus may tkij gentle spirit on life's cheerful 

ocean move, 
Till thou shalt hail a haven bright — " a better 

land " of love ! 



THE FAREWELL. 



Go ! blest with the hope that will never forsake 
thee, 
And open thy heart to the pleasures around ; 
Though the voice thou hast loved may no longer 
awake thee 
To joy, nor thy ear may be blest with the 
sound, 

Which in days gone for ever was hope and was 
bliss ; 



OFFERING'. 57 

Yet sigh not, nor look to the years that are 

flown, 
For thy heart hath a treasure far richer than 

this, 
A joy that is purely and deeply its own. 

There lives the high spirit of silent devotion, 
And charity lights up her beautiful shrine, 

And every lovely and hallowed emotion 
Of virtue and kindness for ever is thine. 

And thine is the voice which in dews of the 
morning, 
More light than the lark's, is ascending to 
heaven ; 
And in the pale glow of the evening's returning, 
Thine too are the hopes which to angels are 
given. 

Thy head is laid down on its pillow to rest, 
As calm as the sun when it sinks on the 
wave ; 
And the soft happy visions that play round thy 
breast, 
Return in the night dreams, to soothe and to 
save. 



SS T II ES ACRED 

Thy life hath no shade, for the tears of distress 

Fall tenderly from thee, like dew on the rose ; 

While the hope which is ever around thee to 

bless, 

Grows brighter as youth, life, and happiness 

close. 

Farewell ! though the voice thou hast loved 
may no more 
Breathe the memory of years that for ever 
are gone, 
And the dream of those young days we cannot 
restore ; 
Yet weep not — thy bosom's best joy is thine 
own. 

And though never again thou may'st gaze on 
the smile, 
Ever beaming with tenderness, virtue, and 
truth, 
Yet the trust which so sweetly thy griefs can 
beguile, 
Is better than all the fond visions of youth. 



OFFERING. 89 



TO A DESERTED HOME. 



When morning blushes o'er these scarce-green 
fields, 

On their scant trees pouring its glory down. 
No burst of joy the brightening landscape yields, 

It marks the blighted verdure near a town. 
And when the purple evening fade away, 

No wave reflective shews its parting beam, 
But the last lingering hues of farewell day 

Here all unnoticed shed their softened beam. 

I had a home — ah me ! a home no more, — . 

Most calmly fair in its green loveliness, 
Shadowed with trees, and bound with sea-girt 
shore, 

With view all rich in its unboundedness ; 

Far distant hills, most faintly, sweetly blue, 
Skirting the horizon with their peaks of snow, 

And valleys, meadows, bright as eye ere knew, 
Spreading their mingling beauty wide below. 
8* 



90 THE SACRED 

O prospect glorious ! thou art in mine eye 

As when I stood, with never-sated gaze, 
On our own terrace, watching to descry 

The little sail-boat midst thy pathless ways. 
Yes, here thou livest ; memory has enshrined 

Thy quiet walks, thy boundless solitude, 
And each loved scene that I have left behind 

Comes glowing on my heart with life imbued. 

Alas ! there only — days and years may pass, 
And I thy lonely walks no more shall tread, 
These feet shall press no more thy well-known 
grass, 
Or raise thy humble violets from their bed. 
No, all the freshness, sweetness of thy flowers 
May wildly bloom, for no accustomed hand 
Shall kindly twine them round their moss-grown 
bowers, 
And taste must wave no more her magic 
wand. 

Though all unseen, still may thy dark woods 
wave, 
Thy flowers still glow in summer's radiant 
breath ; 



F F E R I N G . 91 

May beauty shroud thee, silent as the grave, 
And be around thee in thy transient death. 

And when again to sound of human voice 
Thy far-hills echo, then may peaceful hours 

And rural pleasures bid their hearts rejoice, 
With purest happiness, as once did our's. 



HYMN. 

MICAH, CHAP. VL 



Wherewith shall I come to the Lord's sacred 
altar, 
And bow myself down to the High God 
above ; 
Shall I come with burnt offerings, his dread 
will to alter, 
Or can sacrificed victims his anger remove ? 

With ten thousand rivers of oil can I please 
him, 
Shall I give my first-born for transgression 
in vain ; 



92 THES ACRED 

For the sin of my soul will my offspring appease 
him, 

Or incense ascending his clemency gain ? 

Then what doth Jehovah thy Maker require of 
thee? 
Hath he not shewed thee, man, what is 
right — 
Do justly, love mercy, and He will remember 
thee, 
Walking still humbly and true in His sight. 



YOUTH. 



How bright is life in early youth, 
Reflecting all the young heart's truth ; 
A dazzling scene where sweet flowers stand, 
Awaiting but the gatherer's hand ; 
Where hopes and visions dance around, 
And every spot is fairy ground. 



OFFERING. 93 

The child with eager, fearless heart, 
Enters on youth's more dangerous part ; 
Untried, and yet undoubting, goes 
Into a world of change and woes, 
Unknowing of the conflict there, 
'Mid crimes and death, devoid of fear. 

Yes ! to the glad and rapturous glance 
Of young eyes, life is all romance ; 
A pictured scene of beauty lies 
Spread out before those wondering eyes ; 
x\nd their own fate is sketched in bowers 
Of peace and joy, midst pleasant hours. 

But what is life ? a warfare still, 
Between our duties and our will ; 
A scene of trial, where the best 
May venture not to take their rest ; 
Where every virtue must be bought 
By discipline, by toil, by thought ; 

Where hopes, though sweet, must sometimes 

fade, 
Love with forgetfulness be paid ; 
Where poverty may pour her moan, 
Too oft unaided and alone ; 



94 THE SAC R E D 

Where when we weep, we weep in vain, 
Where prisoners, we must wear our chain. 

And is this all ? a scene of strife, 
And pain, and toil — and is this life ? 
0, no ! far holier, brighter powers 
Are shrined in those allotted hours, 
A store of aims divine there lies 
Even in those brief, sad destinies. 



TRUE JOY. 



Hath Joy a mortal path, and doth she wander 
Through crowded scenes, or in the haunts of 

folly ; 
Or loves she nature's shade and melancholy, 
Where dark woods wave, and silent rills mean- 
der ; 
The melody of waterfalls, the song 
Of summer birds, the wild and lovely dream 
That wraps the poet by the gushing stream, 
And all the charms that to her reign belong ? 



OFFERING. 95 

Ah yes ! she loves these scenes — she hath no 

dwelling 
In fashion's hollow hopes, and sickly smile, 
Nor health, nor peace those feverish hours 

beguile. 
No ! in the calm, blest bosom she is swelling 
Of God and nature's worshipper ; of him 
Whose life is sanctified, whose aim is heaven, 
Who feels a trust in every moment given, 
Whose heart is fixed, whose hope is never dim. 
Yes ! there indeed she dwells, there is her 

shrine, 
Of holy thoughts, and sweet and tranquil mus- 
ing, 
The balm of silent happiness infusing, 
A joy refreshing, fadeless, and divine. 
There doth she fold her wings, and in the breast 
Xurse the benevolent wish, the purpose high, 
The radiant visions of eternity, 
Which glow o'er life's horizon ; like the west 
When summer suns are sinking — brighter still, 
Through every added hour, to life's sweet close ; 
This is her power, more deep than when it 

rose, 
With softest, purest light the soul to fill. 
Hail ! heavenly joy ! how frail and perishing 



\JJ T HE SACRED 

Is every other, born of time and earth ; 
Thou, thou alone hast an immortal birth, 
With angel-hopes thy children nourishing ; 
How few revere thee, O! how few expand 
Their cold, dark spirits to thy blessed ray ; 
Yet some there are, who hail the opening day, 
And walk as those who wait a better land. 
Blest spirit, come ! receive my youthful vow. 
My hopes, my dreams, my aspirations keep, 
Guard me through life, watch o'er my transient 

sleep 
And be thy peace for ever on my brow. 



THE EVENING SPIRIT. 



In the gloom of the evening a shadow I see, 
And its faint lovely smile reminds me of thee ; 
It hovers around me so fair and so calm, 
That its soft presence falls on my spirit like 
balm ; 



OFFERING. 97 

And I know when it comes by the peace of my 

heart, 
And the sweet consolations it loves to impart. 
— I hear the light rustle of wings o'er my head, 
And a heavenly tear-drop upon me is shed, 
And in kindness it weeps, for in rapture we 

meet, 
And our parting, though mournful, for ever is 

sweet. 
We meet — yet it is but one hour of the day, 
When the rays of the bright sun have glittered 

away, 
When the night-fall is coming with tenderest 

shade, 
And the dim glow of twilight is almost decayed ; 
When all in the mists of the fancy we see, 
O then, gentle spirit, you hasten to me ; 
And my heart does not throb, for I know not a 

fear — 
The angel-like lustre which tells thou art near, 
In the pale holy light which around thee it 

flings, 
Is light to my eyes, and the low murmurings 
Which sink in my ear, and only in mine, 
Infuse in my soul a joy pure and divine. 
9 



98 THE SACRED 

Do they breathe of the days of thine earthly 

sojourn? 
Ah yes ! and those dreams on my memory re- 
turn 
Which we fearlessly wove, ere that season of 

woe 
Which gave thee the sky-range and left me 

below. 
— Yet how softened, how mournful those mem- 
ories rise, 
How swiftly the image of past pleasure flies ; 
Like the twilight that flits, and leaves me alone, 
I turn with a welcome, and ah ! it is gone : 
But not fleeting the holier bliss that is given, 
When the sweet shadow tremblingly whispers 

of heaven, 
And tells me of joys that I too shall inherit, 
And bids me exult in communion of spirit. 
With a smile — such a smile — ? t is some- 
thing so blest, 
So pure, so serene, it can ne'er be exprest — 
I stand and inhale it with silent delight, 
As w; irmly it beams through the chill of the 

night — 
It fades, like a rainbow — entranced I o-aze on, 
But the vision, the smile, and the radiance are 
gone. 



OFFERING. 99 

— They are gone, in the dark ether melting 

away, 
Like the lingering glow of the last evening ray ; 
I only behold the deep green of the trees, 
And I hear not a sound save the sigh of the 

breeze — 
All nature is still as I muse on the scene, 
And there is not a trace where the spirit has 

been. 



SONNET. 

MATTHEW, CHAP. IV, 



Upon the mountain's height he stood — below, 

The kingdoms of the world around him spread 

Their glories to his view. The Tempter said, 

" Fall down and worship me ; I will bestow 

Upon thee all these things : " " Hence ! thou 

shalt bow 



100 THE SACRED 

To God alone ! " replied the Holy One ; 

" Him only shalt thou serve — Satan be- 
gone ! " 
Awed by the voice divine, and threatening brow, 
The Tempter instant fled, and, borne on wing 

Of love, the ministering angels come 

In robes of light, and heaven's immortal 
bloom, n 

Aid from above with gentle hands to bring ; 
And. shall we tremble on our high career, 
When He who guarded Jesus still is near ? 



SONNET. 

LUKE, CHAP. IV 



He stood within the Temple ; on his brow 
Sat heavenly wisdom, and his Father's love ; 

The holy book before him ; and below. 

The people round their gracious Savior 
move : 



OFFERING. 101 



The page, with great Isaiah's vision fraught, 

Then with a voice divine the Master read, 
" The spirit of the Lord is on me — taught 

To preach the gospel to the poor, and led 
By Him to heal the broken heart, to preach 

Deliverance to the captives, to the blind 
Restore their sight again ; and I must reach 

Aid to the bruised ones, and their chains un- 
bind." 
words of love and mercy ! still shall rest 
Their spirit, Jesus, in thy follower's breast. 



SONNET. 

JOHN, CHAP. XIX. 



Stretched on the cross, with mortal woe op- 
pressed, 
The Son of Man breathed forth his parting 

sighs ; 
Darkness o'erspread the earth ; and then the 
cries 
Of smitten hearts were heard, and nearer pressed 
3* 



102 THE SACRED 

I J is mother, and the follower whom he loved. 
" Mother, behold thy son," the Saviour said — 

" Behold thy mother." The o'erwhelming 
dread 

Of death came o'er him ; yet his pale lips 
moved 

With love and mercy still, as the base crowd 
Mocked at his sufferings, and the tumult 

grew. 
" Father, forgive ! they know not what they 
do!" 

Vv r as heard amid his anguish, and aloud 

He cried, "T is finished" — bowed his hal- 
lowed head, 

And to his God the chastened spirit fled. 



" She sorroweth not as one without hope. 



f 



She sat in the soft and twilight hours, 
In the lovely scene of her own green bowers ; 
The bright blue sky was over her spread, 
On the velvet lawn she pillowed her head, 



OFFERING. 103 

And around her all sweets of earth and air 
Rejoiced in the breeze, for that scene was fair. 

Her eye on the distant landscape fell, 
The groves and the river she loved so well ; 
She traced its windings through vale and glade, 
And gazed on their thousand hues of shade ; 
And the soft low notes of the birds were there, 
And gently they fell on her listening ear. 

Yes ! all was beauty and gladness round, 
Yet her warm young tears bedewed that ground, 
And she dared not breathe on the evening air 
The wish of her heart in a scene so fair ; 
For while all in the rapture of life was blest, 
That youthful mourner was wishing for rest. 

She wished for the home where no tears and 

sighs 
Are blent with the spring's sweet melodies ; 
Where memory is but a tender dream, 
To make the future more brightly beam ; 
And a hope immortal and deathless is fraught 
With the glowing hues of an angel's thought. 

O'er her hope of earth came an early blight, 
And the grave had shrouded the eyes whose light 



10-1 g THE SACRED 

Was sweeter to her than the morning beam, 
And faded for ever was life's young dream ; 
And though all was radiant above and around, 
Yet her thoughts were away upon one green 
mound. 

That far dark grave ! O ! her heart was there ; 

In vain all nature was bright and fair ; 

For dearer to her was that one dim spot, 

By all beside despised, forgot ; 

And she sighed to think, as her tears fell fast, 

That upon that grave she had gazed her last. 

But she raised her eyes to the evening star, 

As it beamed in its placid light afar, 

And a hope as bright to her heart returned, 

And with deeper and holier thoughts it burned ; 

For to her that signal seemed to say, 

That her night of affliction should pass away. 

And she hailed the signal, and checked her sighs, 

And opened her heart to the melodies 

That softly breathed around, above, 

And touched her griefs with a heavenlier love ; 

And she thought with rapture to meet him there, 

And nature again looked bright and fair ! 



OFFERING. 105 



LINES 

ON THE DEATH OF TWO CHILDREN IN AN INFANT 
SCHOOL. 



From our bright band some lovely ones are 
gone, 
Some infant smiles have faded in their mirth ; 
The beautiful are missing ; one by one 

They winged their early flight from this cold 
earth. 

They take their sleep — deeper far than that 
Which wraps the baby on its mother's breast ; 

Now on the seats where late they smiling sat, 
Their little playmates all unconscious rest. 

Alas ! for infancy — what does it know 

Of change, or care, or that dark leveller, 
Death ? 

Radiance and hope are on its laughing brow, 
And life's first joy inhaled in every breath. 



106 THE SACRED 

The blight is on it, yet it knows no fear ; 

The mandate has gone forth, but still it plays ; 
And every thing is gay, and fair, and dear, 

As in its healthiest and its happiest days. 

Poor infants ! on some tender bosom laid, 
Ye perished sooner than the summer flow- 



ers 



The little hymns which ye so sweetly said. 
E'en now may harmonize the heavenly bow- 



ers. 



A CHAKACTER. 



Yes ! opening life to him was bright, 
It wore his own pure spirit's light ; 
In every scene he called forth good, 
From being's strange vicissitude ; 
That world, to some so cold and dim, 
Was the clear path to heaven for him. 

And life was bright, for round his head 
i of spotless fame was spread ; 



OFFERING. 107 

And friendship came, with smiles, to pour 
Her radiance on his youthful hour ; 
And his were joys to which are given 
Some faint similitude of heaven. 

Wherever want had bowed her head, 
Was heard his footsteps' gentle tread ; 
Where error, or where guilt appeared, 
His mild, rebuking voice was heard; 
And when the mourner vigil kept, 
His sympathizing bosom wept. 

By all revered, by all beloved, 
In peace and joy through life he moved; 
And that pure spirit found a breast, 
On which his own in trust might rest ; 
And visions of home-felt delight 
Around him threw their ano-el lisfht. 

His cup of earthly joy was full, 
And life itself was beautiful ; 
But even in that hour of bliss, 
Deeper and holier joys were his, 
And oft he raised his ardent eyes, 
In faith, to the immortal skies. 



10S THE SACKED 

The mandate came ; in that bright day 
It came, and he was called away 
From love, from friendship, and from life ; 
He past, nor felt the painful strife. 
O ! they were dear, but dearer still 
To him, was his Creator's will. 

The glories which through life had shone 
In every scene, to guide him on, 
Came with their pure, immortal glow, 
To shine upon his dying brow ; 
And the deep, grateful love he bore 
His God, sustained him in that hour. 

He past in calmness and in faith. 
! are we thus prepared for death ? 
And tranquil could we hear the call 
Which asks us to surrender all, 
And, in the prime of our career, 
Meet the cold grave without a fear ? 

let us humbly turn to Him, 

Whose word can make the bright eye dim, 

And, with a sudden touch, a blight, 

Chase every feeling of delight ; 

Who, ere one chill night-breeze has past. 

An early death can o'er us cast. 



OFFERING. 109 

To Him who, in that darkest hour, 
Still o'er us spreads his shield of power ; 
In all we fear, and all we prove, 
Still shrouds us in his arms of love ; 
And makes that last sad season bright, 
With visions of eternal light ! 



LINES 



SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY A HUSBAND WHO 

HAD LOST HIS WIFE, AND ADDRESSED 

TO HIS ONLY CHILD. 



Hours there are, in which I sit 
To think upon one nameless tomb, 

With unseen tears to hallow it, 
And muse upon my lonely doom. 

My infant smiles — alas ! he brings 
His mother's features to my heart ; 

The memory of a thousand things 
Again from long oblivion start. 
10 



110 THE SACRED 

My infant speaks — and, O ! his voice 
Comes with her accent on my ear, 

The same that made my heart rejoice, 
The very tone, so sweetly dear. 

The day-dreams of my youth are done, 
Though youth itself is in its prime ; 

A lonely race I have to run, 
A melancholy strife with time. 

For thee, my boy ! 1 fain would live, 
But in thy mother's grave enshrined, 

The tenderest love I have to give, 
Claims every feeling of my mind. 

The all that lingers still on earth 

Is throbbing o'er thy future lot, 
Thy hopes and fears, thy woe and mirth, 

In hours when I shall see thee not. 

And sometimes mournful fancy flies 
To what in future years thou 'It be, 

When virtuous, gentle, good, and wise, 
When all — she had been blest to see. 

And then methinks, in happiest scene, 

Tiiough love and friendship round thee shine, 



OFFERING. 



Ill 



Turning from all to what has been, 

That grave will have some tears of thine. 

And another, on whose breast 
Thy little orphan head has lain ; 

Another, who has hushed to rest, 
When motherless, thy infant pain ; 

One who at midnight hour has knelt, 
To pray for thee when others slept, 

And all a parent's anguish felt, 
And o'er thy baby sorrows wept. 

Perchance, too, he may claim a sigh, 
A tender thought, a lingering tear ; 

And memory, with a swelling eye, 
Exclaim — My Father slumbers here. 



112 THE SACRED 

SONNET. 

on new-year's day. 



• 



Light of another year again I see, 

And its first day is mine ! But whether I 
May see it join the past eternity, 

My Father and my God ! depends on thee. 

grant its hours, as on swift wing they flee, 
In peace and goodness, compassed by thy 

love, 
May swiftly glide ; so my soul shall not 
move, 

Though sorrow waits the dark futurity. 

Thus would I consecrate this year ; and ! 
If other prayer is beating in my breast, 
It is for those I love, that they may rest 

In the same trust, the same high comfort know : 

That when our years their destined race have 
run, 

We each may find the meed of virtue won. 



OFFERING 



113 



REVELATIONS XXII. 5. 

*' And there shall be no night there ; they need no candle, neither 
light of the sun ; for the Lord God giveth them light." 



Even that light which now about us gleams, 
Seems like the light of the Eternal One; 
It bears His blessings on its golden beams, — 
Nature revives before the glorious sun, — 
Life springs around wherever light is shed, 

Darkness is for the dead. 

Through the deep veil of night that smile is 

seen, — 
Worlds are the lamps that glimmer while we 

sleep ; 
Or the pale moon doth, like a vestal queen, 
Over the light of heaven her vigil keep. 
And if the sky be wrapt in one deep shroud 

Of darkness and of cloud, 

Still there is that, which o'er the dim world 
comes, 
10* 



114 THE SACRED 

Like beacon-fires across the gloomy main ; 
Lights from the altars of our own bright homes, 
Welcoming each to his warm hearth again, 
To the glad circle, o'er which love has thrown 

A sunshine of its own. 

Night is not evil, that its presence brings 
The precious moments to affection given, 
Nor for the quiet borne upon its wings, 
Soft, and refreshing as the dew of heaven, 
That soothes the cradled world to peaceful rest, 
Making e'en darkness blest. 

There may be night, when morning's early 

glow 
Laughs out in beauty on the woods and streams: 
And darkness, where the burning embers throw 
O'er the deserted hearth their useless gleams, 
In all that show of pleasure's seemingness 

Which mocketh at distress. 

— It is the darkness of the heart ; a gloom, 
A better light must waken to dispel ; 
A vision and a presage of the tomb, 
Which haunts the mourner's path. he can 
tell, 



OFFERING. 115 

How beautiful the thought — A world of light, 
Where there shall be no night. 

They need no candle there. Those who have 

made 
The circles of beloved homes below 
Will have their gathering there ; where never 

shade 
Shall darken o'er affection's hallowed glow ; 
Where not one link shall from its chain be reft, 

Or vacant place be left. 

The weary mortal's craving for his rest, 
Which marks the circuit of his numbered hours, 
Is like the small bird's yearning for its nest, — 
The nightly closing of the short-lived flowers ; 
But the immortals their resemblance keep, 

To him who cannot sleep. 

" They need no sun, no moon." The Lamb 

will be 
The light of that bright world ; and they who 

bore 
His image upon earth, His face will see, 
And feel that grief and death can be no more ; 



16 THE ? / C R E D 

That evil from his glance must pass away, 

As night from breaking day. 

Now from the sun which cheers this sphere, no 

ray 
In the blue summer ether leaves its track, 
But in some spot of earth it kindles day — 
Is from some joyous eye reflected back ; 
A messenger of love is every beam, 

And sheds no wasted gleam. 

Yet what is light ? The bright sun's brightest 

ray, 
To the mild gleams that o'er the spirit steal ? 
Or what the gloom of midnight's direst sway, 
To that deep, dreadful darkness we can feel ? 
O ! for that world, where God himself is light, 
Where there will be no night. 

What then the blessings of that living light, 
The land of spirits shall receive its rays ; 
The works of God, made by His presence bright, 
From their perfection shall reflect His praise, 
His glory from the happiness profound 

Of deathless hosts around. 



OFFERING. 117 

E'en now that glory gilds life's fitful scene. 
That light is with us where we know it not : 
It is the spirit's lamp, and burns unseen, 
Yet clear and bright, in many a shrouded spot ; 
Where human eye no spark of hope may trace, 
There is its dwelling place. 

'T is with the mourner in his lonely hour, 
Nor fails when all around is lost in gloom ; 
O'er life's most bitter anguish it hath power, 
Is strong in death, and bright above the tomb ; 
All other flames the storms of earth may quel], 

This is unquenchable. 

Its shrine is in the hidden sanctuary 
Of a pure heart ; its evidence is love, — 
Love, that in every living thing can see 
The fair creation of the God above, 
And watches, with a brother's faithfulness, 

Over its least distress. 

If now the light of day were only lent, 
To bless the presence of this love benign, 
And a dark shadow in the firmament 
Marked every dwelling with an outward sign, 
Where cruel anger burns, or malice lowers, — 
What were this world of ours. 



4 

118 THE SACRED 



SONNET. 



I KINGS, XIX. II. 



The Prophet stood upon the mountain height, 
And the Almighty passed ; and suddenly- 
Great and strong winds arose, and scattered 
lie 
Mountains and rocks around — and yet no light 
From heaven was there : and then an earth- 
quake came — 
But the Lord was not there : a fire appears — 
Still the Lord came not. But the Prophet 
hears 
A still small voice. — O ever thus reclaim, 
Father of heaven ! my wandering heart to Thee. 
Amidst the storms of earth I '11 seek that 

voice ; 
Be there, Lord ! and hid my heart rejoice. 
Thus, like Elijah, when from earth I flee, 
To seek Thee all alone, — from realms above, 
Breathe in the still small voice of heavenly love. 



OFFERING. 119 



CHANGE. 



Change is of life a part — the wave that stirs 
The ocean of existence. Silver spray 
And sparkling foam it flings : it ministers 
Beauty unto the deep on its bright way, 
Or makes the surge, upon whose giant form 

Rideth the storm. 

Youth loves its billowy pathway. It is there 
Hope casts her anchor in the vast abyss. 
There opens the last vista to despair ; 
And yet thereon we think, amidst our bliss. 
With fear and trembling. — Thou art passing 
strange, 

Loved, dreaded change. 

Change is above, beneath, within, around ; 

An inexhausted power, that never sleeps ; 

It shakes the world as with an earthquake 

sound, 
Or, with the shadow o'er the dial creeps ; 
All life, all nature must its stroke endure, — 

If silent, sure. 



120 THE SACRED 

The joyous infant, in whose laughing eyes 
More than a summer's beauty is portrayed, 
For whom, new life's yet unquenched ecstasies 
A paradise in his own heart have made — 
Thou beautiful — thou bright one, must there be 

A change for thee ? 

happy change ! thou art more helpless now 
Than the meek lamb upon the mountain side ; 
Soon will the mark of thought be on thy brow, 
Of energies to angel powers allied ; 
Yet these can only reach their perfect day, 

And then decay. 

Change, in a thousand forms, attends on life, 
And well we note its step with anxious eye ; 
Life's brief success, its sorrows, and its strife, 
Each stirs the heart's pulse, as it passes by ; 
Not one familiar thing, however small, 

Unmarked can fall. 

Yet ask we not ourselves to what we tend ; 
Is ours the fate we see prepared for all ? 
If change, the law of being, to its end 
Work silently, as in the rose leaf's fall, 
We feel not, think not, that it bringeth fast 

last — the last 



OFFERING. 121 

Change crowds a life into one little day ; 
Without it, time almost unnoticed flows ; 
The things of old it rudely sweeps away, 
And snaps the chain, which habit would impose ; 
Then to the world's yet untried paths we draw, 

With secret awe. 

Aye, but to die — to go we know not where — 
To leave, the scenes familiar from our birth, 
Arrested, perhaps unwarned, in our career ! 
One moment on this green and sunny earth, 
The next in that far country, "from whose 
borne " 

Is no return ! 

And yet the agony of change, the shock 

That rends the spirit from its frail abode, 

Is but for those, who have made earth their 

rock, 
Mammon their wealth, and self their idol god ; 
Where we have made the treasury of our bliss, 

There the heart is. 

But mark the righteous man ; his spirit hath 
Commune with things on high, while here be- 
neath ; 
11 



122 THE SACRED 

There is a presence round about his path, 
Mighty in life — omnipotent in death, 
Which mingles every blessing earth hath given 
With thoughts of heaven. 

When that last fearful scene we call to die, 
All that of him is mortal hath subdued, 
Then is the opening of the inward eye 
On that which gleamed upon its solitude ; 
Then o'er the world which filled his dreams to 



range 



Is not to change. 



ELEGY 



ON THE DEATH OF A MOTHER. 



A shadow on my spirit fell, 

When my hushed footsteps from thee passed; 
And sad to me thy mild farewell, — 

To me, who feared it was thy last ; 



OFFERING. 123 

And when I saw thee next, a veil 
Was drawn upon thy features pale. 

They strewed thee, in thy narrow bed, 
With roses from thy own loved bowers ; 

In melting anguish memory fled 
Back to thy happy rural hours ; 

And saw thee gently gliding round, 

Where all to thee was Eden ground. 

The God, whose presence met thee there, 
Was with thee in thy slow decays ; 

He answered to her dying prayer, 

Whose life had been a hymn of praise : 

Thy God was nigh — thy Shepherd God, 

With comfort of his staff and rod. 

I lay thee where the loved are laid ; 

Rest — till their change and thine shall come ; 
Still voices whisper through the shade — 

A light is glimmering round the tomb ; 
The Temple rends ! the sleep is ended — 
The dead are gone — the pure ascended ! 



124 THE SACRED 



ECCLESIASTES XI. I. 

" Cast thy bread upon the waters : for thou shalt find it after 
many days." 



The wild bee, in his cell, 
For winter hoards the bloom of summer flowers ; 

The emmets, where they dwell, 
Lay up the fruit of all their sunny hours. 

The old stork of the wild, 
In her own young's enduring love may trust ; 

E'en Mammon, sordid child, 
Buildeth a store-house for his golden dust. 

And is there not on earth 
One spot, to garner up the wealth of mind ? 

Love, friendship, kindness, worth, 
All that is great, and good, of human kind. 

God, in his tender care, 
Did such a treasury upon man bestow ; 

He shows, He leads us where 
The sweet still waters of affection flow. 



OFFERING. 125 

He through the mind has poured 
This stream — that it reflect his image there, 

The sifts which man has stored 
And sanctified to him, he bids it bear. 

Then cast your treasures there, 
Ye who their fruit in after years would find ; 

Trust your heart's riches where 
He who first gave them has their place assigned. 

One spring of hope may fail ; 
Those we have cherished may be far away ; 

Those we have loved may quail, 
Before the threatening of our evil day. 

But kindness has a part, 
A world, a viewless region all its own ; 

It glides from heart to heart, 
Nor know we where its light may next be 
shown. 

Mother ! who to thy child 
A heritage of friendship would bequeath, 

To smile as thou hast smiled, 
When thine own yearning heart is stilled in 
death, — 
11* 



126 THE SACRED 

Smile on the infant's joy, 
Bend down thine ear unto the orphan's cry ; 

Then fear not that thy boy 
Should want the watching of a mother's eye. 

Child ! who mayest not be near, 
To soothe thy mother in her day's decline, — 

Thy father's path to cheer, 
When fain his failing strength would trust in 
thine, — 

Be thou the friend of age ; 
Some gentle hand will be thy parents' stay, 

E'en in their latest stage, 
Though thou, and all thy love, be far away. 

Pilgrim ! who long has cast 
Thy bread upon the waters, fear not thou ; 

Bliss shall be thine at last, 
Though all thy path be cold and cheerless now. 

Is thy life nearly gone, 
And yet does nought thy hope deferred fulfil ? 

A little while bear on, 
God, who has promised, is faithful still. 



OFFERING. 127 

Think not He can forget — 
Trust in His righteousness — be still, and wait. 

What if He linger yet ? 
Thou knowest not what with Him is soon or 
]ate 

He counts not hours with thee ; 
No sun metes out for Him a daily round. 

His time — Eternity ; 
Death is no mark for Him — the grave no bound. 

Ages His moments are — 
A thousand years as nothing in His gaze ; 

Thy trust is in His care, 
And thou mayest find it after many days. 



HYMN 

WRITTEN DURING A SEVERE TRIAL. 



Great Author of the world, I bow 
Beneath thy chastening rod ; 



128 THE SACRED 

And at thy feet I lay me low, 
My Father, and my God ! 

From the same hand, all merciful, 
Are blessings day by day ; 

Fill, then, my cup of misery full, 
I will not turn away. 

But ! this vain, this frantic hope, 
That burns within my breast, 

That fills my soul's extremest scope, 
And will not let me rest, — 

Grant thou the power to overcome, 

The patience to subdue ; 
! call my wandering spirit home, 

My feeble faith renew. 

And pardon thou my bosom's guilt, 
That idols there should be ; 

Make me, O Lord, whate'er thou wilt, 
So I forsake not Thee ! 



OFFERING. 129 



THE WANDERING BAEK. 



I am a wandering bark, 0, Lord ! 

Be thou my guiding star ; 
Through regions dark and unexplored 

To light me from afar. 

Behold around a raging sea, 

The ocean of despair ; 
But thou canst smooth a course for me, 

And calm the tempest there. 

Lo ! at my helm a pilot stands, 
Self-will, ungoverned — strong ; 

But thou canst guide his stubborn hands, 
And safely lead along. 

My sails, the slightest gossamer 

From fancy's fairy loom ; 
More frail than pity's feeble star, 

In sorrow's night of gloom. 



130 THE SACRED 

The winds that rend their fragile thread 
Are passions fierce and wild ; 

! turn their fury from the head 
Of thy defenceless child. 

My anchor, O ! that earthly love 

Should ever hold us here ; 
So seeming pure — so far above 

This world's polluted sphere. 

Within the bosom of the deep, 

Its earthly home it finds ; 
While on the restless billows sweep 

And blow the angry winds. 

And tossed the fragile bark must be, 
That knows no firmer stay ; 

That owns no pilot sent from thee, 
Along its troubled way. 

Then ! my God, thy mercy show, 

My fainting hope renew ; 
For I am poor and weak, but Thou 

Art mighty to subdue. 

1 bring to Thee no offering meet, 

Thy smile of peace to win ; 



OFFERING. 131 

I lay my burden at thy feet, 
My sorrow, and my sin. 

While driven about by every wind, 

And tossed by every wave, 
I cast no lingering look behind, 

But ask thy power to save. 

I have no safety on the sea, 

No shelter from the shore ; 
My help, my hope are all in Thee — 

In Thee for evermore. 



THE FOUNTAIN. 



There is a fountain in the wild, 

Amid the sheltering trees; 
Where forest flowers have bloomed and smiled, 

And wooed the welcome breeze. 

And her 3 beside this fountain clear, 
How gladly would I rest, 



132 THE SACRED 



And watch thy beams, sweet evening star, 
Reflected on its breast. 

What though the slave of worldly wealth 

Would never stoop to drink 
One drop of peace, one draught of health, 

Beside its cooling brink ; — 

Yet here the lonely deer will bring 

His wounded limbs to lave ; 
The weary bird will fold its wing 

Above the crystal wave. 

And here the wounded spirit too, 
T\Iay bathe her aching breast, 

And ask the balm of heavenly dew, 
To soothe her woes to rest. 



SURVIVORSHIP. 



Thou mayest not mourn thy loneliness of soul. 
What though the spirit, whose benign control 



OFFERING. 133 

Was thy mind's strength and blessing, now be 

fled; 
What though no voice, no token from the dead, 
Stills thy wild questionings, or helps thy pray- 
ers ; 
What though the thrilling thought no bosom 

shares, 
Which uttered dies away ; and gushing tears, 
Whose source is hid, are still referred to fears, 
And transient griefs thy soul has risen above ; 
What though the intensest fires of human love 
Are back repressed, till heart and brain they 

burn ; — 
Thy loneliness of soul thou mayest not mourn. 

Each hope unshared that on thy soul recoils, 
Its force concentred, prompts to nobler toils. 
The intellectual glance, not lingering now 
To meet response, discerns and pierces through, 
Makes inquisition into things unknown, 
And wins the world of being for thine own. 
Nor shall thy love, though from its kindred rent, 
Pine like a captive in his dungeon pent, 
Waiting release, and destined still to wait. 
Wide as the soul its growing powers dilate. 
Embracing all, — yet sacred still to one; 
12 



134 THE SACRED 

Living for all, — yet dwelling still alone ; — • 
Made strong through weakness, free through 

harsh control, 
Thou mayest not mourn thy loneliness of soul. 

Go to the grove where beechen shadows lie ; 
There hushed in thought, shrouded from human 

eye, 
List while the winds, that traverse land and sea. 
Whisper the tidings that they bring for thee : — 
Tell thee where sister spirits mourn the dead ; 
How kindred hearts with thine have thrilled, 

have bled; 
How some, e'en now, are glowing with a flame 
Kindled like thine, for purposes the same, 
To cheer the watch, to daunt a common foe ; 
Like signal fires on many a mountain's brow. 

Rise from thy couch, to hail the midnight star, 
And question what that eye beholds afar, 
That thou mayest love and pray for. Now its 

beam 
Falls on the brow, and mingles with the dream, 
Of some young sleeper smiling in his rest, 
Or wearied pilgrim waiting to be blest. 



OFFERING. 135 

Now the fixed gaze it meets of watchful sage, 
Or with the lamp illumes the student's page ; 
Now, like the eye of God, it glances through 
The guilty soul, and damps the hardened brow ; 
Or cheers the vigils, calms the sighing breath, 
Of love that hovers round the couch of death. 

Thus winds and stars bring kindred to thy side. 

If still for nobler sympathy thy pride, 

'Midst heaven-fraught souls, aspire to claim a 

place, 
Turn to the written records of thy race. 
Where'er, in calm endurance, man has borne, 
For holy cause, the frown of kings, the scorn 
Of multitudes ; — where'er the scourge, the fire, 
From souls that on their inward strength retire, 
Nor abject prayers, nor wrath, nor groans have 

wrung ; 
Where'er the nerves of woman have been strung 
Such strength to foster, and such pangs behold, 
Such lot to share, lest heavenly love grow cold, 
There mayest thou, if such links like souls may 

bind, 
Communion hold with each immortal mind : 
From saint to hero, chief to martyr, turn, 
And in thy solitude forget to mourn. 



136 THE SACRED 

There is a Presence — awful, yet most sweet, 
Where all that 's holy, holy things may greet. 
There throng, unite, and dwell in commune 

free, 
They that have been, that are, that yet shall be, 
The eye may not behold, nor ear drink in, 
The light, the music breathing from within; 
The grave may interpose, long ages roll, 
And land and sea may sever soul from soul, 
Yet in eternal union still they dwell ; 
The same love cheers, the same emotions swell. 
Each impulse that the will divine hath given, 
Thrills from earth's lowest deep, to highest 

heaven ; 
Each influence that the Love divine hath shed, 
Gives beauty to all life — life to the dead ; 
Beams from the sanctum of a common home, 
And lights the path where thronging pilgrims 

come. 
Conscious of that pervading Presence mild, 
Blest with the freedom of a favored child, 
Look round, while earthly shadows from thee 

roll, 
And dream no more of loneliness of soul. 



OFFERING. 137 



SILENCE. 



There is no sound borne on the wind, 
From thronged plain or haunted stream, 

Which comes not o'er the peaceful mind 
So filled with sweetness, it might seem 

A language lent it, to express 

Its own u mattered thankfulness. 

The lowing of the cheerful herd, 
The bleating of the gentle flocks, 

The soft notes of the timid bird, 

The chamois' call among the rocks, — 

Are all with joy too richly fraught 

For messengers of human thought. 

The rustling corn upon the hills, 
That tells of golden harvests near ; 

The tinkling of the little rills, 

Pouring their waters bright and clear ; 

The thunder pealing through the sky ; 

The echo's long and deep reply * 
12* * 



138 THE SACRED 

The whispering of the winds, which shakes 
The fragile leaf upon its stem ; 

The dashing of the flood, which makes 
The cataract's foamy diadem ; — 

These are the envoys by which we 

Hold converse with the Deity. 

We give them life ; we make their voice 
Instinct with feelings all our own. 

So may we worship and rejoice 
By nature's eloquence alone ; 

The world our temple, and our praise 

That which the elements upraise. 

But Silence, solemn, deep, serene, 

Which makes its presence felt abroad ; 

The atmosphere, which spreads between 
Us and the omnipresent God ; 

When nought replieth to our call, 

But our own voice's echoing fall. 

Its influence through the earth and sky 
Succeedeth to the words of prayer, 

As if an answer from on high 

Were stealing through the upper air, 

A voice, which mortal might not hear, 

Were breathing on the inward ear. 



OFFERING. 139 

And night, the starry night, which broods 

In shadows over wood and glen, 
In silvery beams upon the floods, 

In rest upon the homes of men, 
Which then beneath the darkened sky 
Like " cities of the silent " lie.^ 

When this warm, throbbing life puts on 

The calm similitude of death, 
We know not how the Eternal One 

Looks down upon this world beneath ; 
What works of grace, or love, or power, 
He worketh at that silent hour. 

What his unsleeping eyes survey, 

That man, his agent man, hath wrought ; 

The deeds, which even one brief day 
Before his watchful glance hath brought. 

Existing on, 'midst rest and gloom, 

E'en as they follow to the tomb. 

When the oppressor's arm is weak, 
And sleep hath dulled the tyrant's ear, 

* The Afgauns have a great reverence for burial grounds, which 
they sometimes call by the poetical name of " Cities of the Si- 
lent." — Elphinstonb. Note to Lalla Rookh, p. 117. 



140 THE SACRED 

The slave in his lone hut may seek 
Him, who is never slow to hear ; 
Then is the broken spirit's sigh 
In awful silence borne on high. 

From us, if at that solemn time 

None looks his deep appeal to heaven, 

Of us, if no account of crime, 
By the accusing spirit given, 

Nor cry of anguish nor despair 

Goes up, amidst the darkness there, — 

Conscience adds up her vast amount 
Of hidden talents, useless powers ; 

And calls up to their vain account 
The spirits of our wasted hours, 

The deeds of kindness left undone, 

The ruined souls we might have won, 

God speaks not to us from the sky, 
Nor wakes us by a prophet's call ; 

No awful warning meets our eye, 
As the hand-writing on the wall : 

He spreads no signal to our sight, — 

A cloud by day, a fire by night. 



OFFERING. 141 

But Silence, solemn, deep, serene, 

Which makes His presence felt abroad, — 

This is the mean which lies between 
Our spirits and the living Pud. 

On him Creation's voices Cu'l, 

By this alone he answereth all. 



MUSIC. 



O speak to me in music — I would hear 

The voice of days gone by in some rich strain : 

T is beautiful, within its magic sphere 
To live the mind's existence o'er again. 

Our thoughts have twofold being — first they 
spring 
From passing circumstance — and then they 
come 
Back to our hearts, like spirits hovering 
Around the precincts of their earthly home. 



142 THE SACRED 

A thought may sleep — slumber but yields it 
force, 
And time, or grief, or outward change en- 
dears : 
Perchance, unconsciously we touch its source, 
And pour its fulness on our future years. 

What shall such thought awake ? perhaps a 
flower, 

Culled in a moment of deep happiness ; 
Yet, best can harmony's resistless power, 

That treasurer of feelings sweet, express. 

Hast thou a cherished image thou would'st fain 

Kestore again in all its purity ? 
Beware, lest aught of a material chain, 

On that ethereal one should harshly lie. 

Commit it to that record where alone 

Music has registered the dreams long fled ; 
Then touch its chords, and at their slightest 
tone 
" Will memory's burial place give back her 
dead." 

The recollections, with sweet sound combined, 
Return unto us chastened, beautified ; 



OFFERING. 143 

Casting an atmosphere around the mind, 

Through which they pass, and brighten as 
they glide. 

The melody that in the heart has birth, 
Findeth an echo in the silver chords, 

Which give the spirit's emanations forth 

With a deep eloquence, that needs no words. 

Music is natures language. It resounds 

From the deep caves, in which the ocean 
roars, 
To the blue vault, where only aether bounds 
The trackless region, where the wild bird 
soars. 

When the rich valleys exultation raise, 

When " the floods clap their hands," the hills 
rejoice, 
When rocks and mountain streams break forth 
in praise, 
And earth is glad — then music is her voice. 

And music hath its gentle accents, made 
To meet in sympathy the mourner's wail ; 

The night bird's song is sweeter in the shade, 
Than all the mirthful notes that morning hail. 



144 THE SACRED 

If there are weary spirits, which the power 
Of the harsh world has wounded or subdued, 

Speak unto them in music, for its dower 
Is cheerfulness and inward quietude. 

If there are stony hearts, where care has closed 
The avenues of feeling, one by one ; 

Where guilt its galling bondage has imposed 
Or late remorse its bitter work has done ; — 

Speak unto them in music, they may hear 
The piercing accents of that deep appeal, 

That murmurs no reproach, that wakes no fear, 
But gently seeks to rouse the heart to feel, 

Music, which hath a power to reach the soul 
In its extremes of rapture or despair, 

Which owns no bound, which brooketh no con- 
trol, 
To what doth all its influence tend, or where? 

Whence the tradition, beautiful and high, 
Which long to Israel's chosen race was dear, 

That God's own voice, on flaming Sinai, 
In music fell upon the prophet's ear. 



OFFERING. 145 

We hear of angel harps. Does heavenly bliss 
In their pure harmony an utterance find ? 

And can it be in language such as this, 

That spirits hold communion, mind with 
mind ? 

Sounds, which no mortal ear hath heard, may 
give 

To new and exquisite emotions birth, 
And some known ancient melody revive 

The dearest reminiscences of earth. 

If thus this spirit voice may be employed, — 
If thought may be so linked with its sweet 
strain, 

O never be its purity alloyed 

With one, we would not wish to meet again. 



A MOTHER'S GRAVE. 



The day returns, but she to whom I went, 
To breathe fond wishes for the closing year, 
13 



146 THE SACRED 

To whom, with gentle kiss, I fondly bent, 
In the heart's tenderness — she is not here. 

! never more a mother's smile will turn 
Sweetly on this pale cheek ; no mother now 
Forbids her child in loneliness to mourn, 

Or lays a kind hand on her aching brow. 
Again the berries red and laurels green 
Shine o'er us, as they wont in other days ; 
And all around is as it long hath been ; 
But I am changed — and with the song of praise, 

1 blend a low and solitary prayer, 

A voice of mourning in the house of mirth, 
And sounds unheard are swelling on the air, 
And tears are pouring on the silent earth. 
The merry hours which others lightly pass 
But bind my heart more closely to the dust ; 
My thoughts still linger o'er the new-laid grass, 
Upon a mother's grave ; yet shall the trust 
This day inspires, 'midst all my bitter loss, 
Rise o'er my soul like sunshine through the 

gloom ; 
Upon my breast I bind the savior-cross, 
And hope springs brightening even from the 

tomb. 
He lived, He died — upon this blessed day, 
Did light and immortality arise ! 



OFFERING. 147 

He came to guide our dark and wandering way, 
He burst the veil that hid th' eternal skies, 
He brought the mourner comfort. I no more 
Dwell on the parting gulph of mortal years, 
But faith points upward to the heavenly shore, 
Where, bright in glory, all I loved appears. 
He was the resurrection and the life ; 
He rose, the mighty conqueror of death ; 
And shall I listen to my grief's vain strife, 
And weep that she has won th' immortal wreath? 

no, my mother ! 'mid my lonely race, 
My silent anguish, and my unseen woe, 

1 cannot wish thee in thy wonted place, 
The wretchedness of earth again to know ; 
With a far deeper love, I joy that thou 

Has drunk thy mingled cup, and, freed and 

blest, 
While thy weak child is struggling on below, 
Hast entered on the realms of perfect rest. 



148 THE SACRED 



THE WILD-FLOWER. 



Despise not thou the wild flower — small it 

seems, 
And of neglected growth, and its light bells 
Hang carelessly on every passing gale ; 
Yet it is finely wrought, and colors there 
Might shame the Tyrian purple, and it bears 
Marks of a care eternal and divine : 
Duly the dews descend to give it food, 
The sun revives it drooping, and the showers 
Add to its beauty, and the airs of heaven 
Are round it for delight. 



THE PAST AND THE FUTURE. 



Through the long vista of departed years, 
I bend my eyes, that swell with vain regret 



OFFERING. 149 

For grief was never blotted out by tears, 
Nor time brought back upon their waters yet, 

Nor promise made to pay her long arrears 
Of still accumulating debt. 

I know r it is a sad and vain employment 

Of the soul's vision, thus to look behind, 
On time's " broad pinions," and bewail the en- 
joyment 
That passed away with him, like passing 
wind, 
Leaving a waste, the kingdom of the mind. 

I feel it vain ! I know it most unholy ! 

Yet it doth fascinate my mournful gaze, 
And soothe me with its moonlight melancholy, 
Through feverish longings for my sunnier 
days, 
When hope was in my heart, and joy in all my 
ways. 

I know it vain ! The grave will keep its dead, 
And parted years cling firmly to their trust; 

Recording all that I have done and said. 
In this, my dying tenement of dust, 
13* 



150 THE SACRED 

Upon immortal tablets ; to be read, 
Before the resurrection of the just. 

"What if I look before me ! to the end 

Of all things human! when the uprooted 
tree, 
Even as it falls, shall lie ; and foe, or friend — 
Which of the two, that day, shall conscience 
be? 
When from the naked spirit it shall rend 
All subterfuge away, and every hollow plea ! 

Be wise, and hear it now — that still, small 
voice, 
That bids thee quit the path thou long hast 
trod ; 
Believe that time is all too poor a price, 

To barter for eternity with God ! 
And whatsoe'er He give or take, rejoice, 
And bless his mercy, in His staff or rod. 

So shall thy sinful murmurs sink to re?:. 

And thou thy race on earth with patience 
run, 
Humbly confiding that His will is best, 

And that submission here is heaven besrun, — 



OFFERING. 151 

Light shall attend thy path, and peace thy breast, 
When thou canst breathe a hope, that thus 
thy crown is won ! 



TRUST IN GOD. 



Goo ! in early infancy, 

1 learnt to bow my knee to Thee ! 
And in the quiet evening air 

A mother guided my young prayer, 
xlnd I from life's first years was taught 
To raise to Thee my infant thought ! 

And when those sweet years died away, 
Like the young fragrant dawn of day, 
And tender hands led gently on 
A youth, w r here not one hope had flown, 
Then, in the bright and radiant hour, 
I loved the prayer of praise to pour. 

And when, God, the darker scene 
Came at Thy call, and I could lean 



152 THE SACRED 

No more upon those young hopes bright, 
Nor taste the cup of home delight, — 
When tears were on the cheeks I loved, 
The power of faith, God, I proved. 

And now, when that dark cloud is past, 
And calmer hours are come at last, 
And I in life's maturer day 
Have marked Thy hand a longer way, 
With faith more firm, and hope more clear, 
God ! I bring an offering here. 

Not the soft incense of that age, 
When life is all one cloudless page, 
And childhood raises its bright eye 
In wonder to the Deity ; 
Nor yet youth's deeper, happier glow, 
Breathed in the spirit's overflow. 

When all is fresh and sweet ; — no, mine 

Is but a sigh upon that shrine, 

Where I have blended hopes and fears, 

And grief and prayer, through many years ; 

And where, in every change, I find 

A holy calm to soothe my mind. 



OFFERING. 153 

never may life's later care 

In this divine communion share ; 

No cares, but such as heaven may bless, 

Of home's sweet claims of tenderness — 

But not the world's — O never here 

Shall blend one worldly doubt or fear ! 

The future, all unseen, I leave 
With Thee, my God ! if I receive 
Thy love and guidance on the w T ay, 
Like the fair beams of future day, 
! then I will not tremble, though 
Through cold and desert scenes I go. 

For not alone — O not alone ! 
Devotion's halo, round me thrown, 
That deep and chilling gloom shall chase, 
And I those desert paths shall trace; 
And hopes to light, and prayer to bless, 
Shall rise amid the wilderness. 

But if, God, the sunnier sky 

Thy love should deign — the happier scene, 

O ! as the joy-winged moments fly, 

Be mine the hour of thought between — 

That quiet hour, still, still to share, 

When every thought we breathe is prayer. 



154 THE SACRED 



WE NEVER SAID " FAREWELL." 



no ! we never said " Farewell ! " 

That was a word we could not speak — 

We durst not trust our lips to tell 

The thoughts that made all language weak. 

We knew the cold, dark sea must roar, 
Our, earliest, happiest hopes between — 

We knew that life itself was o'er 
As it in other days had been. 

We wept not — ! how vain were tears, 
In the deep grief of such an hour ; 

No ! on the waste of coming years, 

We sought to shed faith's healing power. 

We knew that there was hope and trust, 
Which would not fade, like human love ; 

That trial came not from the dust, 
Sent forth to elevate and prove. 



OFFERING. loo 

With deeper thought we bent in prayer, 
With tranquil hearts we parted then, 

The last devotions we mi^ht share 
We raised in hope — nor met again. 

Yet shall that hope, through cares and strife, 
Through time, and change, and earthly woe, 

In every scene that marks my life, 

Still shed its bright and heavenly glow. 

That smile is fled — that voice is far — 

Yet still the song of prayer and praise, 
\mid the world's discordant jar, 

ith constant heart I love to raise. 

And well I know, on other shores, 
Where never tone of mine may rise, 
ly heart its evening tribute pours, 
Adoring, "neath those distant skies. 

! sometimes, at that hallowed hour, 
A thought, a silent thought may be, 

Of one who now on England's shore 

Breathes friendship's changeless prayer for 
the? ! 



156 THE SACRED 

AFTER THE DEATH OF A FRIEND, 

AND ADDRESSED TO HER CHILDREN. 



Is she withdrawn from earth, 
Whose sunny smile of joy, and kindly tone, 
Kindled up gladness round the household 
hearth ? 

Are these all gone ? 

Will she no more be seen ? 
Never more present at the social board, 
Where flowed benignly, from her lip serene, 

Each gentle word ? 

Friend ! parent ! can it be 
That she, from all who held her dear, is taken ? 
While mournfully her sorrowing children see 

Her place forsaken ? 

When fond and sanguine trust, 
In fair perspective, sketched her lengthened 
years, 



OFFERING. 157 

How soon to mark their promise laid in dust, 
And quenched in tears ! 

cherished dream of bliss ! 
Binding our natures in thy mystic spell, 
And in thy essence spiritual, is this 

Thy last farewell ? 

Sad and unholy thought ! 
The spark of life, immortal, cannot die. 
Praise be to Him, whose blood the treasure 
bought, 

And gave the victory. 

The victory over death — 
Triumphant resurrection from the grave. 
Take, then, heaven ! what we resign, in faith 

That He can save. 

Yet I would bid ye weep ! 
But not as those from final hope who sever. 
For when the archangel's voice shall burst her 
sleep, 
You meet for ever. 
14 



158 THE SACRED 



LIFE'S CHANGES. 



I saw the waters, as bright they lay, 
In the lovely calm of a summer day ; 
The fair blue sky shone clear above, 
All nature breathed of peace and love ; 
And near me there were radiant eyes, 
As calm and clear as those summer skies. 

And gladly I gazed on the flowing tide, 
For those I loved were at my side ; 
The sun in glory and splendor shone, 
And proudly the vessel glided on ; 
And softly the distant landscape played, 
In its varying hues of light and shade. 

And my heart was blest : short time past by, 
And again did the white-winged vessel fly 
On the evening gale, and I was there ; 
But, alas ! the scene was no longer fair. 
The eyes and the smile I loved were gone, 
And I stood and gazed on the waves alone. 



OFFERING, 1 59 

Brief time had fled ; yet the shade had past 
O'er my heart and hopes since I stood there 

last ; 
Some best beloved had fled away 
To a calmer shore arid a brighter day ; 
And all life seemed to my tear-dimmed eye 
As brief as the waves that glided by. 

The evening shades fell chill and cold, 

But my heart was filled with the dreams of old ; 

The gentle sound of the water's moan 

To my memory recalled a lovelier tone ; 

For the setting sun, which o'er me fell, 

Shone again the eyes I had loved so well. 

All fled — all fled : yet I shed no tear ; 
I stood in faith and in calmness there ; 
O'er my troubled spirit the shadows rose, 
But one gaze above brought my heart repose ; 
My lost and my loved were there, and I — 
I breathed to the evening gale one sigh. 



160 THE SACRED 



ON THE DEATH OF A BELOVED 
EELATIYE. 



do not grieve for him, for brief the hour 
Of mortal anguish thus in darkness given ; 
That young and spotless heart is ripe for heaven, 
And goes in happier regions to adore. 
To him mortality's long strife is o'er. 
He has no tears to shed — no struggling hours ; 
But, with expanded hopes and holier powers, 
At once he launches on th' eternal shore. 
early blest, his glorious task is done, 
His love and piety have shed their bloom 
On the cold vision of a youthful tomb, 
And what though darkness veil the life begun 
In beauty and in hope — though this last scene 
Has bitterness more awful far than death, 
It shall not quench the deep immortal faith, 
That heavenly love and care in all has been ; 
" We will not weep for him," or with such tears 
As fall in tenderness upon the bles:. 
For he is entering on the land of rest. 



OFFERING. 161 

The crown of thorns his pallid brow now wears, 
Shall be exchanged for the eternal wreath ; 
These mortal shades shall lightly pass away, 
Before the glory round him on that day ; 
And Heaven's own airs shall o'er him softly 

breathe. 
So may we shrine his image in our hearts, 
So may his virtues in our memories live, 
That every thought the fond remembrance 

starts, 
Some noble aim, some holier trust shall give. 



THE SISTER'S FAREWELL. 



She died in summer eve — the last light pale 
Of lingering twilight on her languid eyes, 

Around her the last zephyr's gentle gale, 
And on her ear soft evening melodies. 

She died 'midst fragrant dews, and closing 
flowers, 
Her last sigh mingling with the parting breath 
14* 



162 THE SACRED 

Of the delicious summer evening hours — 
Her last faint sigh — 0! it was not like 
death. 

And did she gaze on all the radiant bloom 
That shone around her, in its careless pride ? 

Amid the coldness of approaching doom, 
Of living beauty saw she aught beside ? 

Bright flower, soft air, and richly glowing 
skies — 

Had these her heart, had these her dying sighs ? 

Ah no ! there knelt beside her, one alone, 
Whose young slight form had rivetted her 
look ; 
A fair cheek, scarce less pallid than her own, 
A soft, clear brow, which bloom had all for- 
sook ; 
Dark heavenly eyes, filled with resistless tears — 
The sister of her first and happiest years. 

She did not weep ; but as those eyes she read, 

With tenderness and grieving love o'er- 

fraught, 

With throbbing heart and faltering voice she 

said, 

" Sister, recal me sometimes to your thought; 



OFFERING. 163 

'Midst brighter hopes and gayer scenes, yet 
Let not your heart this evening hour forget. 

0! sometimes, though all else should have 
forgot, 
As the south-wind shuts the last violet, 
Come with fall heart to this deserted spot, 

And think of days when here we fondly met ; 
Retrace our infant sports, our youthful love, 
And turn some fond and sorrowing thoughts 
above. 

The flowers shall breathe to thee their softest 
sighs, 

And fancy mingle my departing breath, 
And all those mournful evening melodies — 

! they shall seem to thee my knell of death. 
Sister, farewell ! " A cold shade softly fled 
O'er the bright brow, and she had vanished ! 



164 THE SACKED 



MATTHEW VII. I. 



"JUDGE not, that ye be not judged. " 



I wandered alone, at the evening's close, 
To a lonely spot, where the dead repose ; 
The beams of the moon lent a fitful grace 
To the noiseless calm of the holy place, 
As they lightly played on the cold gray stones, 
That were raised in pride o'er the mouldering 

bones. 
Strong contrast they formed with the large dark 

shade, 
The sculptured tombs on the green sward 

made. 
I wandered on, and I breathed a prayer 
As I thought of the dead, who lay slumbering 

there, 
Of their deeds and feelings, their hopes and 

fears, 
As they journeyed on through this vale of tears. 
Some placed in beauty their hopes and their 

trust j — 



OFFERING. 165 

They died — and their beauty returned to dust. 
Some rested on power as the magic spell ; 
But the reed was broken — the powerful fell. 
Some heaped up treasure with fearful care ; 
But their treasure was earthly — the moth was 

there. 
1 stopped — for a sound from the tombs arose, 
Like the voice of the storm, when the whirl- 
wind blows : 
M thou, who hast judgment on all beside, 
Hast thou passed the ordeal purified ? 
Canst thou see the riches the fair earth brings, 
Nor waste one sigh on the glittering things? 
Canst thou dwell in power, and be free from 

pride, 
And humble as He who was crucified ? 
Canst thou see the honors the worldly gain, 
And pass them unheeded, and feel them vain ? 
Canst thou do all this ? then thy way is blessed, 
Nor earthly sorrow shall harm thy rest : 
But fail'st thou — think of the stern decree, 
The judgment thou giv'st, shall be given to 
thee." 



166 THE SACRED 



REMEMBRANCE, 



Thou didst not say, " Remember me ! " 
Nor breathe one last and faint farewell ; 

Yet long, long years will roll o'er me, 
While on thy words will memory dweil. 

The feeble efforts of thy love, 

Thy mention of the parting token, 

No time shall from this breast remove, 
Till the weak heart within is broken. 

I wear thy pledge with holiest care, 
A mother's dying pledge, and never 

Shall time or change that relic tear, 

Which from this hand no more shall sever. 

The sighs I pour, the tears I weep, 
Blest spirit ! may not reach thine ear ; 

But I through life thy love will keep, 
In all its early freshness dear. 



OFFERING. 167 

And when my head is howed with pain, 
And when my heart is cold with grief, 

From thee, my mother ! not in vain 
Thy suffering child shall seek relief. 

A gentle train shall memory raise — 

Fond looks, soft word, and tenderest smile, 

As in my blest, my childish days, 

When thou wast hovering* near the while. 

The happier past shall rise again, 

With thee to soothe, to cheer, to bless ; 

And lingering years of mortal pain 
Shall vanish in that happiness. 

A mother's hand is on my cheek, 

No longer wet with human woe, 
I hear a mother's accents speak, 

Again her blessed smile I know. 

never, never from my heart, 
Blest spirit, shall thine image fly, 

Till feeling, thought, and life depart; 
And in the moment when I die, 



168 THE SACRED 

If other thought than heaven be there, 
My mother ! it will turn to thee ; 

My latest, fondest, dearest care, 
To meet thee in futurity. 



THE MISSIONARY'S WIFE. 



How many a woman, young and pale, 

Hath sat to watch, while fickle day 
Spread in the west his crimson sail, 

Impatient of delay ; 
And listened with an aching ear 

For tread of foot, or cry of hound, 
Till weary Hope, with sigh and tear, 

Expiring looked around 
O'er darkened vale,, and wood, and plain, 

For one who came not back again. 

And weary is that woman's lot, 
If in a fertile land she dwell, 

Where war and famine riot not, 
Nor ever sickness fell : 



OFFERING. 169 

But if in hovel cold and rude, 
On rugged rock, or windy moor, 

Ye find her in her solitude 
At eve, beside her door, 

Sad thoughts her only company — 

dismal, then, her lot must be ! — 

O dismal ! in the bitter north, 

Where, over wastes of trackless snow, 
Coy sumwer rarely peepeth forth, 

And flowers forget to blow. 
Where, with a wan and spectral light, 

Short time the sun his journey takes, 
And winter falls with heavy night 

On frozen seas and lakes, 
And through their icy caverns clear 
The deep wind murmurs sounds of fear. 

A lone one watches in her hut, 

By dark, desponding thoughts possessed, 
And fancies strong — nor force can shut 

Their phantoms from her breast : 
Her own sweet Germany she sees, 

Its laughing fields, its cities gray, 
Its hamlet-churches bowered in trees, 

Where first she learned to pray, — 
15 



170 THE SACKED 

And sprites are whispering in her ear, 
" What, dreamer, wouldst thou perish here ? 

" Thy pious father lies asleep 

Among his children, all but thee, — 
Thy mother hath not ceased to weep 

Her daughter's face to see, — 
And thou must leave thy sheltered home 

To die, ere youth's best years be told, 
In this dark land of treeless gloom, 

Of hunger and of cold — 
Return — forsake its wilds austere ! 
Thy place, fair woman, is not here." 

Thick coming thoughts like these did fill 

Her large blue eyes with gentle grief, 
When through the night — (so very still 

You heard the whirling leaf) — 
A step drew near — a voice she heard — 

The fur-clad laborer came at last, 
The embers on the earth she stirred, 

The weary one embraced — 
Great sorrow sat most heavily 
On furrowed brow, and languid eye. 

" Mine own," said he, and clasped her hand, 
Her small white hand, within his twain, 



OFFERING. 171 

" I cannot bear this weary land, 

This labor all in vain ; — 
I preach the word, and none will hear, 

Or hear, God's mercy to despise ; 
And palsying doubt, and boding fear 

Within my breast arise ; 
The Lord denies to bless my prayer — 
Thou weepest — Yes ! — our home is fair ! 

; ' Come, we 11 return ! — the hind refrains 

To sow, when nothing springs to reap ; 
We will return to blither plains 

Of corn, and trees, and sheep ; 
There 's pestilence around us now, 

And winter, with his noons of night, 
And cold rude men, who will not bow 

To worship God aright : 
For mine own holy land I sigh — 
If but to breathe its air — and die ! " 

Even while he mourned, a sudden change 
Crimsoned her lip, and fired her eve, 

And boldness, to herself most strange, 
Spoke out in her reply : — 

" Cheer thee ! my faithful ! — keep thy trust 
In One above, the Just, and Wise, 



172 THE SACRED 

Who (for he knows us frail as dust) 

Oar faith and courage tries ; 
Our friends are far — but God is near, 
Aye — to this land of gloom and fear." 

" 1 too have wrestled with despair, 

And yearned with tears to live and die 
Within -some Christian dwelling fair 

Of my sweet Germany ! — 
But it hath passed — and I am strong ; 

Our God, who sent us here to toil, 
Can build the shrine, and wake the song, 

On this unthankful soil ; 
And bow the heathen heart of stone, 
To worship at his lofty throne ! " 

" Cheer thee, mine own ! — the dawn is nigh, 

The seed is sown, the well is found ; 
And soon, from out the kindling sky, 

Shall glory stream around — 
And soon the plenteous garner, piled 

With golden harvests, shall o'erflow, 
And gushing fountains, in the wild, 

Bid rose and lily blow — 
And for the laborer, toil-oppressed, 
Are heaven's unfailing- homes of rest." 



OFFERING. 173 

She spoke, with such a beaming eye, 
And such a mild, benignant brow, 

As Angels', leaning from the sky- 
To comfort earth below : 

Her sweet words fell, like healing dew, 
Upon the pastor's heart of care, 

And side by side, to God, anew 

They bowed themselves in prayer — 

And blest with sleep more sweet to see, 

Were none that night in Germany. 



SABBATH MUSINGS 



Who that feels his spirit rise 

Thankful to the Lord of heaven ; 
Who that views what he has given, 

Rocks, and hills, and bounteous skies, 

Valleys yielding rich supplies, 

Breath of morn, and gales of ev'n ; 

But must own his power to be 

Boundless in immensity? 
15* 



174 THE SACRED 

As the wearied spirit turns 

From the vain pursuits of men ; 
As the stream that haunts the glen 
Gently falls, or hoarsely mourns ; — 
Thus the soul with rapture burns. 

Thus to peace it sinks again, 
Whilst the future prospects seem 
Radiant as the noon-day beam. 

In such still, such solemn hour, 

Emblem of eternal joys ! 

How the world's delusive toys 
Shrink before its charmful power ! 
Sweetly as the stealing shower 

In midnight stillness gently falls, 

When no troubled grief annoys, 
When the passions vex no more, 

Meditation softly calls. 
Whilst devotion, rising high, 
Swells the soul to ecstacy. 

God of nature, God of love ! 
Seen below, around, above, 
Traced in every varied form, 
Heard in every awful storm ; 
Glorious in meridian light, 
Mild and beautiful in night : 



OFFERING. 175 

Still, bounteous Lord, to thee, 
Low I bend the suppliant knee. 

5 T is thy goodness glows around, 
Decks the field, and clothes the ground ; 
*T is thy breath in gentle gales 
Sweeps along the dewy vales ; 
'Tis thy bounteous hand distils 
Healthful waters from the hills ; 
'T is to thee our lives we owe, 
And our blessings here below. 

Silent, musing thus on Thee 

These thy wonders strike our sight ; 
Till, o'erpowered by heavenly light, 

All the world's illusions flee, 

And thy grand immensity 
Glows inimitably bright ; 

Then the mind, with all its powers 

Humbled, trembles and adores. 



176 THE SACRED 



SONNET. 



TO A CHILD. 



Sweet floweret ! blooming in life's cheerful 
morn, 
How mild the beam that gilds thy early days ; 
The tenderest hands thy infant form shall 
raise ; 
And from thy footsteps snatch the lurking thorn. 
Thy parent stem the noblest virtues grace, 
Whate'er of genius lights the human breast, 
Or holy sympathy, that soothes to rest 
The anxious heart of misery's hapless race, 
To ages yet, in time's eternal womb, 

Transmit the soul that warms thy honored 

sire, 
Preserve the spark of that etherial fire, 
Nor let it perish in the silent tomb ; 
Live in the worth that makes thy name re- 
nowned, 
And stretch the line to nature's utmost bound. 



OFFERING. 177 



THE SLAVE. 



He was a slave — a chain was o'er him cast, 
The galling yoke his abject form did wear; 

Above his heart the burning brand had past, 
And left the seal of degradation there. 

His head was bowed in silence. In his eye 
No gleam of intellect or feeling shone ; 

In all his mien there was an apathy, 
As if the spirit of the man were gone. 

Yet in that aspect, cold and changeless now, 
The silent record of his life is seen ; 

'T is thus the dark volcano's scathed brow 
Tells what its deep internal fires have been. 

But is not man, though gold his price has paid, 
Though tyrants bruise him with an iron rod, 

But little lower than the angels made, 
And called the temple of the living God ? 



178 THE SACRED 

The deathless soul remains, and mind, surveyed 
E'en in its wreck, hath still sublimity; 

And human feelings, though in ruin laid, 
Have still deep interest for the human eye. 

Some pious strangers, from a distant land, 
The page of mercy to the slave unfurled, 

And whispered of the kind and mighty hand, 
Which formed this beautiful and fruitful 
world. 

He heeded not, had not earth drank his blood, 
While yet the life pulse trembled in his vein ; 

Was he to look around and call that good 
On which his strength was spent, for him in 
vain. 

They told him of the light and easy yoke, 
And how the bondman is in Christ made 
free ; 

A moment at the sound his spirit woke — 
Freedom ! the word seemed bitter mockery. 

Christian ! how doubtfully that title comes 
To those who feel how it has been profaned ; 



OFFERING. 179 

Christians had forced his parents from their 
homes — 
Christians had found, and left, himself en- 
chained. 

They spake to him of love, of holy ties, 

Links formed on earth, and perfected in 
Heaven ; 
But what were all the heart's deep sympathies, 
To one from nature's dearest friendships 
riven. 

Bearing all those relations which were made 
To rivet heart to heart, he was alone ; 

He knew not where his parents' bones were 
laid, 
His very child he might not call his own. 

They pointed where those living waters flow ; 
Which tasted once, nor Want, nor grief may 
be ; 
That stream, which purest comfort should be- 
stow, 
But fed his fever-thirst for liberty.^ 

* It has been said by Missionaries, who have attempted the 
conversion of the slaves, that the knowledge of Christianity only 
increased their craving for liberty. 



180 THE SACRED 

He could not raise his eyes, lie could not pray ; 

A glimpse of better things indeed was given, 
But still his bonds, his degradation, lay 

Like a dark cloud between his heart and 
heaven. 

He looked to death to limit his distress ; 

For freedom, to the prison of the grave ; 
His was the yearning for forgetfulness, 

Dust cleaving: unto dust — He was a slave. 



A FUNERAL HYMN. 



House of the silent night, receive 

All that unbodied spirits leave ! 

To thee the loosened frame we trust, 

The mouldering bones and cherished dust. 

Within thy dark and spacious womb 
The crowding nations haste to come ; 
From every clime is gathered here 
The harvest of the human year. 



OFFERING. 1S1 

Nature's hard conflict now is o'er, 
Sorrow and care shall vex no more ; 
The tooth of slander shall not wound, 
The envy sting beneath the ground. 



GARDEN HYMNS 

FOR EVERY SEASON. 
I. 

THE SPIRIT'S SONG. 



Praise to our God ! this teeming world he 
framed, 
And loveth all its beauteous things to cherish: 
Sing! — he hath now the storms of winter 
tamed, 
Nor leaves its stores amid their wrath to 
perish. 
16 



1S2 THE SACRED 

Sing! — where the drowsy frost so late' was 
lying, 
Glad earth aside its numbing spells hath 
shaken, 
And many a brook its long-hushed music trying. 
Calls on the buried flowers to smile and 
waken. 

Sing ! — He hath spoken ! — sunny hours are 
wreathing 
Green tender garlands round the branches 
gray ; 
Birds their quick joy from every covert breath- 
ing? 
And bees all busy with the blooms of May. 
Come to our garden ! — hark ! the south wind 
clear 
The young laburnum's golden branches 
swinging, 
Are there not guardian spirits round us here, 
Who to its murmurs join their gentle sing- 
ing? 

Praise, and thanks, and cheerful love. 

Kise from every thing below 
To the Mighty One above, 



OFFERING. 183 

Who his wondrous works doth show. 

In the pleasant garden now : 
Praise him, each created thing-, 
God, your Father ! — God of Spring ! 

Praise him, trees so lately bare, 

Praise him, fresh and new-born flowers, 

All ye creatures, that in air 

Gambol through the noontide hours ; 
All ye soft descending showers 

Who the earth are nourishing — 

Praise your maker ! — God of Spring ! — 

Praise him, man ! — thy fitful heart 

Let this balmy season move 
To employ its noblest part, 

Softest mercy — sweetest love ; 

Even like him, who from above 
Blesses each created thinof — 
God the bounteous — God of Spring ! 



184 THE SACRED 



II. 

THE SUMMER BOWER. 



How sultry is this Sabbath noon, 

Even beneath this thick green shade ; 
How still — except for droning tune 

By yon restless insect made ; 
Without a wind, without a cloud, 

Do wander o'er the azure sky, 
And flowers abound — a gorgeous crowd 

Whose mingled odors heavy lie 
Upon the breathless, burning air, 
And steep with sweets our shelter fair. 

Hour of repose ! the world shut out, 
Here may th' exhausted spirit rest ; 

And narrow fear, and troubling doubt, 
Cease their long warfare in the breast. 

Here sobered thought no longer dwells 
On the vain trifles of to-day, 

For Fancy brings her cup of spells 



OFFERING. 185 

Which leads the dreamer far astray. 
From earth and its enchantments free. 
My heart is all, God ! with thee ! 

Was 't not at such a golden time 

Thy voice did Eden's haunts pervade, 
And man, to catch its sound sublime, 

Drew near, though reverent, not afraid? 
'Tis heard no more — but thou hast still 

A speech in every painted flower, 
That every human heart may fill 

With visions of thy love and power, 
That every child of earth may call, 
To bless thy bounty — Lord of all ! 

It bids the man with labor gray 

Turn from his dross his aching eye, 
And all the goodly things survey 

Thou shower'st on earth, and sea, and sky. 
[t bids th' ambitious worldling yield 

His fate to One, whose tender care 
Clothes the meek lilies of the field, 

And feeds the wanderers of the air ; 
Warns folly's slave her smiles to flee, 
And seek his hope and joy in thee ! 
16* 



186 THE SACRED 

Yes — blessed is this golden hour! 

This weight of Summer leaves above, 
And every mute and graceful flower, 

And every odor that doth rove 
Slow o'er the cloudless azure sky : 

They speak thy love — they show thy might, 
Monarch of eternity ! 

And deignst thou to contrive delight, 
For frail, unworthy man to see ? 
How great art Thou ! — how thankless we ! 



in. 



AN OCTOBER NIGHT. 



Summer hath gone ! 
All her gay blossoms are fading now, 
Leaves hanging yellow on every bough ; 
Soon her sad tomb will the last bestrew 

To the shrill wind's moan. 



OFFERING. 187 

Roses are shed — 
The garden hath some few bright flowers still ; 
But the early frosts, so keen and chill, 
Ere long will their lingering beauty kill, 

And they all lie dead. 

Bright fall the eves — 
Up ! merry wind ! with thy music strong, 
Bring from the stubble the hunter's song — 
And the dry paths of the garden along, 

Toss the red leaves. 

Daylight hath gone — 
Lo ! the bright moon o'er the wood-crowned 

brow 
Lone in her glory — the laurels glow 
Like heaps of emerald her lamp below, 

Fair orb, shine on ! 

Come, stars, come out ! 
Nothing of mist doth your empire shroud, — 
Call them around thee — thou stately and 

proud ! 
Lo ! they burst forth in a glittering crowd 

With sons: and shout ! 



188 THE SACRED 

" praise the God of night — 
Who sent our band a watch to keep 
O'er day — on ocean's breast asleep, 
And gave to us our glorious Queen, 
And for our path the heaven serene — 

O praise the God of night ! — 
He loads her wings with balmy dew 
Earth's wasted beauty to renew ; 
And sends her shade, to steep the eyes 
Of fainting flowers — and her blue skies 

With us makes bright ! 

" Sing loud a joyous strain ! 
Our Father over earth doth range 
In all the loveliness of change ; 
The faery show of Spring he spreads, 
And Summer's burning heat succeeds — 

Sing loud a joyous strain ! 
And comely Autumn, with her sheaves, . 
And stirring winds, and rustling leaves, 
Must fly when Winter's squadrons hoar 
Their trumpets blow ; but Spring once more 

Shall come a^in ! " 



OFFERING. 189 



IV. 



THE CHRISTMAS ROSE. 



I look out in the winter time 

When other flowers are dead ; 
The white hail and the bitter wind 

Beat on my lowly head ; 
But God forbids the angry storm 

My hardy bloom to kill, 
And I am with my lot content, 

Although it is so chill. 

For oftentimes doth glittering frost 

The sere trees hang with gems, 
And thick snow crowns the evergreens, 

With stainless diadems ; 
There 's something in the wildest day 

Of hope and beauty still, 
That makes me with my lot content, 

Although it is so chill. 



190 THE SACRED 

I dreamed once of a golden noon, 

When every bough was clad 
With young green leaves, and every bank 

With rainbow blossoms glad. 
I waked, and feared its fiery sun 

My humble bloom might kill, 
And thought upon my lot, content, 

Although it is so chill. 

Let other flowers know brighter skies, 

And gay companions see, 
While I live lonely — save at eve 

When soft winds sing to me. 
Their Father is my Father too, 

And framed us at his will ; 
So I am with my lot content, 

Although it is so chill. 



THE WILD FLOWER. 



" Dweller in the forest shade ! 
Wert thou fair and fragrant made, 



OFFERING. 191 

But to greet the careless eye 
Of some rustic wandering by, 
Joying in his toils' reprieve 
On a balmy summer eve ? " 

" Mortal, all that pleasure gives 
To the meanest thing which lives 
Came within the Maker's plan, 
When he first created man ; 
But a nobler purpose still 
He hath formed me to fulfil. 

" There 's a quiet beauty dwells 
Nursed within my snowy bells, 
Which in many a heart hath wrought 
Kindly feeling, gentle thought ; 
And this wondrous world we see 
Hath another charm from me ; 
Yet a holier purpose still 
Lies within the Maker's will. 

" Who hath tasted life, but knows 
Earth is dark with many woes ? 
Who hath searched his weary breast, 
And hath found therein a rest ? 



192 THE SACRED 

But with every coming Spring 
I my simple lesson bring, 
Whisper in the mourner's ear 
That for him a spring is near ; 
To the toil-worn soul I say, 
Faint not — on thy lonely way. 
He who bade the sunny hours 
Call to life their wealth of flowers, 
By that sign forbids thy heart 
From its steadfast trust to part ; 
For the world he pranketh so 
Was not only made for woe. 
And the happy ever see 
Cause for grateful love in me, 
Towards the hand which, day by day, 
Scattereth beauty on their way. 

" Stranger ! with the bended brow, 
Not of these, I ween, art thou ! 
Other hand than time's hath wrought 
Ou that brow those lines of thought. 
Sorrow older than thy years 
Dug those channels for thy tears. 
If thy heart aright I see, 
I have counsel too for thee : 



OFFERING. 193 

When the storm through bush and brake 
Bids the forest voices wake, 
And the oak is rent in sunder 
By the crashing peal of thunder, 
Canst thou guess the secret spell 
Which protects my little bell ? 

" When thy dark and bitter hour 
Cometh in resistless power, 
Bend thy stubborn spirit low, 
Nor arise to meet the blow. 
Bid thy wayward heart be still, 
And bow thee to the Maker's will ! " 



THE DESERT FLOWER, 



As in the cold and desert sand 

The traveller found a single flower ; 

And gathered it with trembling hand, 
An emblem of some happier hour ; 
17 



194 THE SACRED 

To bloom and die within his heart, 
In memory of his distant home, 

And felt the social tear-drop start, 
Amid the silence and the gloom ; — 

So, o'er my long and weary way, 
I see thy smile at distance move, 

And o'er my saddening spirit play 
Thy looks of sympathy and love. 

The desert path I long have trod, 

And thou, the single flower, dost shine, 

Of all that dark and dreary road, 
For ever mine, for ever mine ! 



LINES 



TO A YOUNG FEMALE. 



that I could make bright the world for thee, 
And smooth its rugged paths, meek, gentle 
girl ! 



OFFERING. 195 

For thou amidst its tossing scenes must be, 
As 'midst the billows wild, the stainless pearl ; 
And thou must mingle in its toil and strife, 
And look upon the darker page of life, 

My child, my happy child ! 

I would all sounds, by thy blithe spirit heard, 
Were gentle as a mother's lullaby, 
And tuneful as the voice of stream and bird : 
I would all scenes were clear as summer's sky, 
And that where grief must be, a ray should fall, 
Like moonlight over ruins, brightening all 
Life's ways, for thee, my child ! 

I would that thou shouldst walk therein, as 

though 
My watchful, soothing, changeless love had 

been 
Before thee, in the track where thou must go, 
Through the dim valley, the unquiet scene ; 
And left, despite the power of strife and care, 
The still, deep gladness of its presence there, 
To rest with thee, my child ! 

But if the world be sordid, harsh, or cold. 
If thou be lonely, 'midst its busy throng, 



198 THE SACRED 

As the weak lamb, far from the shepherd's fold; 

If there be spirits that can do thee wrong ; 

If base deceit thy heart's young trust must 

shake, 
And from thy dream of life thou must awake ; 
Come back to me, my child ! 

Come back to me : thou knowest where to find 
An eye that never turned in scorn from thee ; 
A voice whose tones have never been unkind, 
A heart, that inly yearns thy face to see ; 
And — but I wish my deeds alone should tell, 
What words were weak to testify, how well 
I have loved thee, my child ! 

Even when age shall come, as come it must, 
The twilight of existence, silver gray, 
'T is but the body bendeth to the dust, 
Affection cannot sink by slow decay ; 
While the pulse beateth it will tremble too ; 
That, shall I count as death, which can subdue 
The thought of thee, my child ! 

Thou cherished one of home ! who then will 

feel 
For thee, as I have felt ? Who then will care 



OFFERING. 197 

E'en the minutest wound of thine to heal, 
Thy smallest pleasure to enhance and share ! 
To whom can I the tenderness bequeath, 
Which, as a ruling passion, strong in death, 
Will turn to thee, my child ! 

Yea, there is one will watch thee still ; I know 
He will be with thee, though unheard, unseen, 
In all thy wanderings — thou canst not go 
Where his providing love has never been ; 
He hath made green the earth, and bright the 

sky, _ 
And tuned his creature's hearts to charity ; 
To Him I trust my child. 

Doth not his mercy to his own exceed 
The holiest form of kindness ever known 
To human love? — That spirit best can read 
His love, which scans the fulness of its own. 
I have not swerved from thee, and can He 

change ? 
Sin only can from thee His love estrange ; 
Then be thou pure, my child ! 

Thou art His offspring. He hath good for 
thee, 
17* 



198 THE SACRED 

E'en though by trial He thy faith should prove 
He who in his rich, bounty gave to me 
To cradle thy young spirit by my love, 
To make thy childhood's sunshine by my smile, 
Inhaling thy youth's dew and balm the while. 
Then flee to Him, my child ! 

He measureth the waters in his hand ; 
Mountains as dust are in his balance piled ; 
The firmament of heaven He hath spanned ; 
Yet is the spirit of a feeble child, 
In his all-seeing eyes, a precious thing : 
I fear not now — the shadow of his wing 

Is over thee, my child ! 



THE MISSIONARY. 



I saw a mighty throng around me stand, 
With unenlightened hearts, and joyless eyes, 

"Walking in darkness towards that distant land, 
Where wait their hidden future destinies. 



OFFERING. 199 

Hearts had they, but untouched with living fire, 

To melt at pity, or at virtue glow, 
For earthly gain was all their low desire ; 

The pure delight that nobler joys bestow 
Was hidden from their gaze. Th' immortal 

mind 
Was famishing within them : it was there, 
With all iis faculties divine and fair ; 
Untouched, uncultivated, unrefined. 
Pitying I saw : — And be it mine, I cried, 

From those benighted hearts to lift the veil, 
To see them taught, instructed, purified ; 

Patient the dawn of earliest hope to hail, 
As plants unfold beneath the breath of heaven ; 

To raise their spirits with the eternal trust, 
And lead them, penitent, reformed, forgiven, 

Beyond the sordid visions of the dust, 
To heaven and heavenly joys; — when lo ! a 
voice 

Came to me — Thou who pitiest thus the 
lost, 
And fain would bid the broken heart rejoice, 

Ere this great task thou takest, count the 
cost. 
With untired patience canst thou sow the seed, 

Though thou thyself the harvest mayst not 
reap ? 



200 THE SACRED 

And when for sin thy inmost heart doth bleed, 

A meek, forgiving spirit, canst thou keep ? 
Witness the scene of cruelty and strife 

With an unchanging faith and steadfast eye, 
And pour o'er all the griefs and cares of life 

A Christian hope, and calm benignity ; 
Lead childhood's little footsteps, day by day, 

Unto the paths divine, and weary not : 
And by the dying sinner bend to pray 

In sympathy with even the outcast's lot ? 
Indifference canst thou meet, yet turn again, 

The long, the hopeless conflict to revive 
And think a soul renewed the noblest gain 

That time with all his trophies ere could 
give ? 
Canst thou thus labor, not by sight, but faith, 

And on the distant waters cast thy bread ? 
Canst thou be faithful, even unto death; 

Unwavering, undismayed, unconquered ? — 
Oh ! not for me, I cried, this task divine, 

Which asks a Howard or a Romilly ; 
And the presumptuous vision I resign, 

The harvest wait from other hands to see. — 
Yet, take thy task, the voice again replied, 

The feeblest instruments can do his will; 
And that one talent which thou maystnot hide, 

May even yet thy Master's work fulfil. 



OFFERING. 201 



THE MOURNER. 



" Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive ; and 
let thy widows trust in me ! " — Jer. xlix. 11. 



The Priest had closed the holy book, 

In silent grief the Mourner's bent, 
To take the last sad farewell look, 

Ere from the grave they sorrowing went. 
Amid the train, elate with pride, 

(Awakened by their sable dress,) 
Two little maids stood side by side, 

Nor wept though they were fatherless. 

But there was one whose fragile form, 

With grief, though not with years, low bent, 
Seemed sinking 'neath affliction's storm, 

Which pitiless her bosom rent. 
No tears her kerchief stained, ah no ! 

Too deep for tears was her distress, 
As, overwhelmed in speechless woe, 

She viewed those infants fatherless. 



202 THE SACRED 

Who now, with fond paternal care, 

Will for their daily wants provide ; 
And from temptation's wily snare 

Their inexperienced footsteps guide ? 
Alas ! for them the future shewed 

But scenes of sorrow and distress — 
For they must tread life's thorny road, 

Not only poor, but fatherless. 

Yes ! though the tomb that form contain, 

Which was to thee than life more dear, 
Nor earthly father now remain 

With thee, those tender germs to rear, 
Yet there 's thy God enthroned above, 

Whose guardian power will guide and bless ; 
And, circled with his arms of love, 

Thy dear ones are not fatherless ! 



OFFERING. 203 



THE TOUCH OF DEATH. 



He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked." — Job ix. 22. 



The young leaves fall, and the full flowers drop, 
And ever on earth such must be our lot, 

For the walk of Death is here ; 
He treads the globe with a withering tread, 
And the prattling child, and the hoary head, 

Are hushed as his steps come near. 

Wherever the foot of man hath been, 
In the lonely cell, in the busy scene, 

Hath Death been hovering nigh ; 
And the voice of prayer, and the scorner's 

glance, 
Are stilled by a touch of his quivering lance, 

As unseen he passes by. 

The bridegroom leaves his new-made bride, 
The soldier falls in his hour of pride, 



204 THE SACRED 

And the craven in his fear ; 
And the reveller in his wildest glee 
Has passed to a long eternity, 

As the death-call meets his ear. 

The mother has fled from her infant's smile, 
Hushed are the flatterer's words of guile, 

At the withering touch of Death ; 
The miser shrinks from his hoarded gold, 
While the useless treasure is yet untold, 

Chilled by his icy breath. 

And is there nothing in human power 
That can stay the mourning, the evil hour ? 

Say, will it surely come ? 
Must the loved, and the honored, the good, the 

free 
Fall alike with the children of misery ? 

Must they share the common doom ? 
They must — if it be a doom to bear 
The dawn of a day that shall know no care, 

That shall fear no gloomy night ; 
That shall last, and for ever, in changeless 

bliss, 
With no shade of the sin and the sorrow of 
this, 

In God's eternal light. 



OFFERING. 205 

And the sons of the evil ! O where are they ! 
Must they rise in their sin on this awful day, 

Arise e'en as they fell ? 
seek not the depth of their fate to know ! 
Who sows in evil, must reap in woe ; 

As they build, they for ever shall dwell. 



HYMN. 



" A well of water, springing up into everlasting life." — John iv. 14. 



O fountain of our blessing ! 

Whose pure and healing wave 
Draws crowds of fainting pilgrims on, 

Their burning feet to lave. 

O soul-reviving waters, 

Clear, bright, without a stain ; 
Where he who once has quenched his thirst 

Shall never thirst again. 
IS 



208 THE S A C R E D 

Why do we idly hearken 
To those who coldly tell, 

(As of some strange and foreign tale) 
Of that life-giving well ? 

Not so the thirsty seek thee, 
For they must drink or die ; 

Before th' inviting accents cease, 
Their eager souls reply. 

O fountain of our blessing ! 

Like theirs my steps would be, 
Not tarrying in the crowded way, 

To hear e'en tales of thee. 

Mine inmost spirit tells me, 
" Press onward, onward still ; 

never stay, till thou hast reached 
That stream, and drunk thy fill." 



OFFERING. 207 



LIFE'S CONFLICT. 



In the conflict of life how many fall, 
Who set off with a heart of trust ; 

Their bright hopes clouded and vanished all, 
And their honor laid in dust. 

How many, who once had spurned the thought, 
Bow down to the world's base shrine ; 

By earth's vain glitter and baubles caught, 
And perished each high design. 

The beautiful heaven for them shines on, 

Bat lost is life's purest glow ; 
And the noble feelings and aims are gone, 

Which youthful bosoms know. 

The stain of earth no tears efface, 

And youth's celestial smile, 
If once remorse with anguish chase, 

No future years beguile. 



208 THE SACRED 

There is neither hope, or peace, or joy. 

When the bloom of the soul is faded, 
"When the tyrant of sin has come to destroy, 

And each opening prospect *s faded. 

! guard the heaven within, for there, 
In each bright and hallowed dream, 

Is a charm to conquer mortal care. 
And through every grief to beam. 

There thoughts of a lovelier and better scene 

Shall chase the transient sigh, 
And fairer visions than ever were seen 

Shall rise on faith's rapt eye. 

And those gentle thoughts, and that holy faith, 
Shall sweeten the mourner's way, 

And a smile shall welcome the night of death, 
That leads to a fairer day. 



OFFERING. 209 



FUNERAL HYMN. 



"He, being dead, yet speaketh." 



Hark ! Christians, to the tones that fill 
Each listening mourner's ear, 

" He, being dead, yet speaketh still," 
His voice is hovering near. 

listen now, though once the sound 
Might coldly touch thy breast, 

Those gentle accents float around 
From mansions of the blest. 

They speak to youth in warning strain, 

To shun temptation's way, 
Nor venture midst the pleasures vain 

Of life's delusive day. 

They speak to those in manhood's pride. 
As they were wont to speak, 

- 



210 THE SACRED 

To lay their worldly trust aside, 
And better riches seek. 

And gently to the infant band, 
They tell of heavenly things, 

And speak of that enduring land, 
Where endless pleasure springs. 

And to the Christian bent with years 
They breathe in words of love, 

And bid him lay aside his fears, 
And find his rest above. 

not in vain his death shall be, 
Whose life so brightly shone ; 

For, " being dead, yet speaketh he," 
In accents all his own. 

So, though we ne'er shall see him more 

Within this hallowed fane, 
Yet let us live his virtues o'er, 

Nor make his labors vain. 



OFFERING. 211 



ON THE DEATH OF A YOUNG LADY. 



When first I gazed upon thy face, 
Fixed in the deep repose of death ; 

And bent, each feature loved to trace, 

With throbbing heart and bosomed breath ; 

O ! then methought 't was sad to die, 

While youth's bright beam was in thine eye. 

But when the dream of other years 

Came o'er me, and I thought of him 
Who made that bright eye dark with tears, 

And all thy youth obscure and dim, 
And gave thy gentle, trusting heart 
Desertion's cold, envenomed dart ; — 
O ! then, when through the mournful shade 

The painful past stood all revealed, — 
The years of love too ill repaid, 

The sleepless nights two well concealed, 
The broken hope of thy first vow, 
Thine only vision's overthrow ; — 



212 THE SACRED 

Then did I check the weak regret, 

And think thee blest in early sleep ; 
With mournful tears no longer wet, 
Thine eye shall wake, no more to weep ; 
The grief which thou through years didst bear, 
I sought thy brow — it was not there. 

Anxious and pale, I stood by thee, 
And drops of love were on my cheek, 

And yet I felt it should not be, 
For I in coming hours might seek 

Thy tomb, and envy that sweet rest, 

And sigh to be as early blest. 

And years may fly, and I may prove 

AW that brought peace and death to thee ; 

As fondly hope, as vainly love, 
And weep like thee in secrecy : 

But I shall never grieve again, 

Beloved ! that thou wert taken then. 



OFFERING. 213 



GETHSEMANE, 



Jesus walked forth unto Gethsemane 

With his disciples, and said, " Sit ye here, 
While I go hence to pray," then sudden fear 

And heavy sorrow, with the agony 

Of thought, came o'er him, and as he went on 
He fell upon his face, and deeply prayed ; 
" Father, if it be possible," he said, 
" Let this cup pass from me : " absorbed 
alone 

He poured his soul to heaven, and humbly 
strove 
For perfect confidence : — " Yet not as I 
But as thou wilt, my Father," was his cry, 

And his pale lips moved with submissive love. 

O, heavenly Father, when my cross appears, 

Thus, Savior-like, may love dispel my fears. 



214 THE SACRED 



EVENING. 



! Evening, in thy light subdued and pale 

I love to wander forth ; when the cold breeze 

Upon the night-cloud flees, 
And deep thy shades prevail ; 
When all is hushed, and nature seems to share 
With human hearts the universal prayer. 

1 love to meditate, as on thy sky 

Sits the blest empress of the silent night, 
On realms more pure and bright, 
And raise my mournful eye 
From earth, and grief, and the dark ills of time, 
To heaven lier scenes and visions more sublime. 

And, as the million rays of worlds of bliss 
Rise up in the dim void, and seem to say. 
A Father's hand upon our way 
Hath launched us, through the dark abyss : 
Awed by their silent glory, swift I turn 
From hopes and fears of earth, and holier feel- 
ings burn. 



OFFERING. 215 

And in my raptured soul I consecrate 
All past devotion, and I feel how vain 
All mortal joy or pain 

In such a fleeting state ; 

And raise my soul beyond a few brief tears, 

To the great author of eternal years ! 

Then, Evening! as upon my soothed heart 
Thy breath is felt, and falls the cooling shade, 
In heaven's own calm surveyed 

A holier influence they impart ; 

And while thy gloomy clouds above me roll, 

A brighter ray is dawning on my soul. 

O ! ever thus be mine thy hallowed hours, 
Thy twilight shadows, and thy fitful sighs ; 
Thy breezes cold, that wildly rise ; 

Thy fragrant closing flowers ; 

And ever mine thy soft, mysterious spell, 

That makes the human heart sadly yet sweetly 
swell. 



216 THE SACRED OFFERING. 



HYMN. 



When hope and fear alternate reigned 
Within my changeful heart, 

Still, Father ! thou my trust sustained, 
And bade my fears depart. 

When after anxious hours of pain 
Thy joyful presence beamed, 

And when a mother's bliss again 
Through all my being streamed. 

Say did I then thy mercy own, 

Thy plentitude of love ? 
No — future hours and days alone 

My gratitude can prove. 

may I teach this wayward breast 

The lessons of thy hand ; 
Content to live at thy behest, 

Or die at thy command. 
























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